New training team helps patients get home from hospital quicker

New training team helps patients get home from hospital quicker


Somerset NHS Foundation Trust (FT) has launched a team of social care trainers to help patients and their carers feel more confident about going home from hospital sooner.

The training aims to upskill patients, families and social care colleagues with personalised training, and it’s believed to be the first of its kind in the NHS to offer this type of comprehensive service.

The service has also been shortlisted for a national Health Service Journal (HSJ) award for patient safety – a top accolade for healthcare organisations.

Helen Greene, lead discharge nurse at Somerset FT said: “While hospitals are the best place for patients who are acutely unwell, once they no longer need that greater level of care they are often more likely to recover more quickly in their usual home setting.

“Every day an older patient is in hospital waiting to go home is another day they risk losing muscle strength and the ability to keep living well at home.

“But many patients still need some care and support, such as if they need to continue medication from a nebuliser (a machine that helps you to breathe in medicine as a mist), or routine injections.

“We are seeing an increase in the number of patients with complex needs and when additional support is needed, the person or team providing it may need some training. Waiting for this training can cause delays and lead to the patient spending extra time in hospital when they could otherwise be discharged.

“This small new training team is invaluable in helping to bridge that gap by providing the training as part of the NHS.”

The team has been given the go ahead until March 2023 to continue on from its 16 week trial last year, which ran over 50 courses that enabled patients to be cared for at home.

Jude Glide, the social care training team lead who supported the trial last year, said:

“Carers do a fantastic job in caring for their patients, which we’ve seen all through the pandemic in an extraordinary way – stepping up and doing whatever needs to be done.

“Over 270 people were trained, including care home colleagues, family, micro-providers and care agency colleagues, who work in people’s homes.

“As a result, nearly 50 patients avoided deterioration in their condition. This was because people had a better understanding of the care tasks so district nurses didn’t need to visit the family as much as well.

“The team was even able to directly prevent two patients from being re-admitted to hospital, keeping the patient at home where they can best recover in familiar surroundings and encourage rehabilitation.

“I’m excited to see how we can improve the service even more since the trial, and look forward to continuing to work with our social care colleagues to spread these benefits far and wide.”

The team provides personalised training on a variety of subjects depending on the patient’s needs – from urinary catheter care to use of a suction machine to remove secretions from the front of the mouth.

One patient who has recently benefited from suction machine training is Gil Bird, when his wife, Anne, asked to be trained in the equipment as part of his discharge from hospital.

Anne said: “The training I received was quite straightforward, and meant I was able to help with more of my husband’s care needs.

“James, the trainer, was easy to talk to, very reassuring, and was even able to help me improve the way I sort out my husband’s feeding tube. The training has meant I can care for him at home without needing a district nurse to come and do the suctioning.”

There have been many requests for other training, such as administering insulin injections and rectal enemas, and the range of clinical skills training is expected to grow as the team becomes more established.

Dave Partlow, strategic manager for acutes and partnerships at Somerset County Council, added:

“The social care training team is a wonderful addition to the collaborative support available to care providers and an example of great Somerset wide system working.

“The training provided has helped some of our care homes to reach the higher standards recognised by the Care Quality Commission. This in turn helps us improve resident safety and support getting residents back to their own homes as soon as possible.”


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Attached photo:


Pictured (left to right): James Costley and Jude Glide



For further information, please contact:


Somerset NHS Foundation Trust Communications Team

01823 344436


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