Hospital to Home: developing new routes to patient care

Senior nursing study day at the Trust, hosted by Hospital to Home

The Trust's Hospital to Home programme is an innovative scheme that focuses on service improvement and quality, with a special focus on digital technology, and developing web-based pathways for patients with complex needs.

This year it has extended its reach to cover extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and lung transplant pathways, as well as further developing its successful long-term ventilation pathway.

(Image right: Senior nursing study day at the Trust, hosted by Hospital to Home)

Developing the children’s long-term ventilation pathway

The Hospital to Home pathway for children on long-term ventilation (LTV) provides a structured process for hospital discharge. It is a single care pathway that can be accessed online by appropriate healthcare professionals from any NHS organisation, in hospitals or the community.

This year, the Hospital to Home team has developed and improved the pathway. The team worked alongside NHS England, NHS clinical commissioning groups and other partners such as the Wellchild charity, to develop a range of clinical and non-clinical courses to upskill those working with children on LTV to meet ever-changing patient needs.

The digital pathway has also been redesigned to offer a better experience for users. In recognition of this, the Hospital to Home team was ‘highly commended’ at the HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards, in the ‘Use of information technology to drive value in clinical services’ category. 

Implementing a web-based ECMO care pathway

Recognising that the principles of the LTV pathway could be applied to other clinical pathways, the Hospital to Home team this year completed a pathway for patients needing ECMO) for severe acute respiratory failure. 

Like the LTV population, the needs of patients who are referred for ECMO support are very complex.

The Hospital to Home team collaborated with the Trust’s ECMO team to map patients’ routes through the hospital system and identify areas for improvement. The recent redesign of the ECMO service (more information on page 43) is now supported by a web-based pathway and referral system as a result. 

Since going live, there have been 189 referrals from 62 different hospitals. The electronic pathway improves the quality of data and referral information. Users report that it saves time in gathering information and helps makes patient-centred decision making more accurate.

Developing a new lung transplant referral pathway

A multi-professional paediatric tracheostomy course, in collaboration with the London Network.
A multi-professional paediatric tracheostomy course, in collaboration with the London Network

Work also began this year on a new web-based pathway for lung transplant patients. Working closely with the lung transplant team, the Hospital to Home team has looked at how the process for patients undergoing assessment for lung transplant at Harefield Hospital could be improved, and has made many positive improvements to the pathway.

Thanks to this project, clinicians now have a comprehensive and efficient online referral system, can share images and reports more easily, can transfer information more securely, and can better track their patients’ progress – including with real-time updates.

Next: Listening to our patients >