How to utilise the potential of Hospital at Home to deliver more acute non-COVID and COVID care outside of hospital
Older people are more likely to: develop severe forms of COVID-19 needing hospital (critical) care and die from it, need long-term aftercare if they survive, and be affected by postponed or restricted non-COVID acute care having the greatest acute care needs. As the pandemic continues, they will continue to have the most restricted access to hospital care due to iatrogenic spread of COVID-19 and much-reduced NHS Hospital capacity. There is a pressing need to deliver more acute care outside of hospital. Hospital at Home (HaH) is a service that provides acute and subacute care by healthcare professionals in private or care homes for a condition that would otherwise require acute hospital inpatient care. It treats people with a wide range of conditions in a variety of contexts, with its particular interest in the provision of services for older people with frailty. More evidence is needed to support its service development, monitoring and evaluation, and strategic and policy planning.
Policy and Practice Partners:
The UK Hospital at Home Society (https://www.hospitalathome.org.uk/)
Aims and Objectives:
1. To develop a programme theory to understand and capture what HaH services can do for the care of older people during and beyond the pandemic and how;
2. To capture positive and negative lessons from service adaptation/setup during the pandemic;
3. To assess the current status of HaH provision in the UK;
4. To assess the resource use and associated costs and savings of HaH in the context of the pandemic;
5. To design and set up a national data registry to capture activity, complexity and outcomes from HaH services.
A. A realist review & synthesis of existing evidence/knowledge, to develop a draft programme theory.
B. Virtual stakeholder consultations with multidisciplinary team members, service managers and partners of HaH services and policymakers, to capture lessons learnt during the pandemic, to refine and update the theory, and to elicit resources required for various service components and major types of care packages delivered by HaH.
C. Web-based UK HaH baseline survey to assess the current HaH provision in the UK, using descriptive statistical analysis.
D. Comparative cost analysis, including estimation of implementation costs (set-up and recurring) and contingent costs, using publicly available costing tables and the headroom method (with sensitivity analyses).
E. Synthesis of evidence from the survey and the theory, to create/define core data set for a national data registry.
Current status: waiting for ethical approval- minor revision submitted after conditional approval; conducting evidence review and synthesis; preparing for primary data collection (e.g. survey and workshop)
Implications for Implementation: