New service at HART of Oxfordshire patient care

HART Team

A new service that aims to deliver high quality care in Oxfordshire patients’ own homes or places of residence has been launched.

The new Home Assessment Reablement Team (HART), launched on 1 October, will allow people to leave hospital once their medical needs are stable or to remain at home after a minor accident or illness, rather than being admitted to hospital.

HART is a countywide service which provides a short period of care and support to patients – especially elderly patients – as they regain their independence and confidence in the skills they need to live at home safely. HART, which was jointly commissioned by Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) and Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, will be run by Oxford University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (OUH). It incorporates and replaces OUH’s Supported Hospital Discharge Service (SHDS) and the Oxfordshire Reablement Service, which was run by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.

“The beauty of HART is that it will be run as a single responsive service, with a single multidisciplinary team, a simple referral process and a single pathway,” said Paul Brennan, OUH’s Director of Clinical Services.

“We’ve reassured patients that the care they receive and their reablement goals will remain the same under this new service.”

HART will offer ‘reablement’ support to both people considered medically fit enough to be discharged from hospital, and those referred in the community, for example, by general practitioners or community hospitals.

It will work with service users, their family and informal carers to provide a short period of support – no longer than six weeks – to help patients function as independently as possible in their own homes or usual place of residence.

“This service is part of our strategy of delivering care to patients in the most appropriate environment for them, working closely with other services, such as the County Council, Oxford Health, the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, GP surgeries and charities, to make sure people are being referred,” Paul Brennan said.

“Evidence shows that many patients, in particular frail older people, have a better experience and better outcomes when an inpatient stay is avoided and when they receive integrated support in an environment where they feel more comfortable. This approach has the added benefit of freeing up beds in our hospitals for the most seriously ill patients.”

Cllr Judith Heathcoat, OCC Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “I am delighted to see the start of a new service that will help people improve their independence and live well in the community.

“This service has been jointly designed and commissioned by Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Oxfordshire County Council and shows the strength and value of health and social care working together.”

Referrals can be made to the HART service by e-mailing [email protected] or by phoning (01865) 572917. More information is available on the OUH HART website.

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