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Scotland promotes "Hospital at Home" initiative


08:52, March 06, 2013

EDINBURGH, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Scotland is promoting a project which has enabled 80 percent of patients to stay at home for treatment rather than being admitted to hospital.

Models similar to the "Hospital at Home" initiative, which has been piloted by North Lanarkshire Partnership in Southern Scotland, are on trail in some local communities, said a Scottish government press release on Tuesday.

The program involves a team of nurses, health professionals, healthcare support workers, social care staff, general practitioners (GPs) and consultants caring for patients at home, allowing them to remain in familiar surroundings with family and friends close by, it added.

The initiative has seen 80 percent of patients referred, who are all over 65, able to remain at home.

Scottish Health Secretary Alex Neil announced the roll out of the project as he set out final plans to legislate for the integration of adult health and social care, while he spoke at the "Building the Connection" event run by the Alliance Scotland.

"We know that in Scotland more people are living for longer, and this brings challenges in terms of the way we plan for, organize and deliver our health and social care services, particularly for people in their later years." said Neil.

He added that the National Health Service (NHS) is currently in a period of transition, as the balance of care shifts towards more community care and shorter hospital stays.

"No one wants to be in hospital longer than they should be. The hospital at home project is just one example where a more joined up approach between health boards and councils and between specialist and community services is benefiting patients, and enabling them to live more independent lives." Neil noted.

"Through closer working between local authorities and health boards, we expect to see improvements in the quality of care our patients and service users receive." he added.

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