Our new discharge lounge at Huddersfield is already getting great feedback for ward manager Kath Stubbington and the team. Thanks to their hard work, the new lounge was up and running within 10 days early last month.
The lounge is now on ward 4 and has replaced the Libby and Bertie lounge.
Kath (3rd from the right) told us "The Libby and Bertie lounge was fabulous, but we realised we could offer more to patients in a clinical setting, so it has become an extension of our wards.
"Most patients come to us for the last couple of hours before going home. It's a place they can relax in a calm setting, where they learn about any medication they may need, and we can fast track pharmacy and transport home too.
"We have Age UK staff from Calderdale and Kirklees on hand too, and I we really couldn't have got through the last month in our "new home" without the team - they've been absolutely amazing!".
The idea of the new lounge followed a visit to one of Birmingham’s busiest hospitals, Queens Alexanders Hospital who have successfully run their lounge for several years. After a small team from CHFT visited it became evident that their model could work very well for us and within 10 days the idea became a reality. The discharge lounge is currently based on one site but there are plans to mirror the model at CRH.
The Age UK volunteers and staff who helped run the Libby and Bertie lounge continue to provide the valuable befriending service and social engagement with patients. They are also able to signpost patients and relatives for support and advice from voluntary groups and community support .
Matron, Janette Cockroft said "It's important we all work together to make sure the patient experience towards the end of their stay remains a positive one. Discharge plans need to run smoothly, be timely and well organised to avoid anxiety.
"The transfer to the discharge lounge is part of the normal patient pathway for a vast majority of our patients ,with the opportunity in a quieter less clinical environment for the patient to have the opportunity to ask questions that may be troubling them, have medication explained or just wait with a cup of tea and have a chat. Ultimately the aim is to transfer patients who are medically fit and going home earlier in the day to the lounge which then frees the bed for the acutely ill patient, awaiting treatment to be continued in a safe ward environment and maintain flow through our busy Emergency departments."
Patient feedback has been very positive, with one commenting “what a smashing idea and this will help the next poorly patient to be cared for more quickly on the ward instead of waiting for a bed in the emergency department.
Pictured left to right are: Viv Milburn, Joanne Airth and Kerry-Lea Horton (all Age UK), Kath, Locum Staff Nurse Dil Khan and HCA Kelly Booth.
The lounge is now open from 07.30-19.30 5 days week and 9-5 at weekends and Bank Holidays. The extended admission criteria for ward staff has been circulated to the wards and patient information leaflets are available.