Nonagenarian Iris Pick is looking forward to celebrating her 94th birthday at home after her discharge from hospital was speeded up thanks to an initiative run by Sirona care & health.
Iris, who will be 94 on January 2, was able to be home for Christmas and New Year after spending time in Bristol’s Southmead Hospital and a “step-down” bed in the community.
Sirona operates the initiative called Discharge to Assess in partnership with North Bristol Trust and South Gloucestershire Council and means individuals, who are medically well, are able to leave hospital quickly and safely.
Cathy Daffada, Sirona’s Lead for Patient Discharge and Flow, said: “We know people recover better in their own surroundings or in a community setting following a hospital stay due to illness, surgery or injury.
“Staying in hospital longer than is needed means an individual’s mobility and other functions, such as independently performing activities of daily and personal care, can be lost.
“For those not yet able to go home but who do not need the high-level medical care provided in hospital, there are what are known as step-down beds in the community in care homes and community hospitals where individuals can have intensive rehabilitation or support for complex long term needs.”
Iris, who lives in South Gloucestershire, was admitted to Southmead after suffering inflammation of her muscles called polymyositis.
She said: “I was completely frozen; they were so inflamed I could not move. I managed to call my daughter-in-law and she got the ambulance. I was in hospital for about two weeks; I was quite helpless but the staff were absolutely wonderful – I cannot speak too highly of them; they were all extremely kind.”
Once Iris was medically stable she was transferred to a ‘step-down’ bed in the community so she could have further rehabilitation treatment before going home.
She said: “They were all very kind; it was helpful to have somewhere to go rather than coming straight home as it can be a shock coming home straight from hospital. I really wanted to get home and they were able to ensure I did that within a week of leaving hospital”
Once home, the Sirona team ensured someone visited daily for the first few days to make sure she was able to organise her meals and further physiotherapy is planned for the New Year.
Cathy said: “Iris was medically stable but needed more intensive rehabilitation, reablement and recovery time before going home. An individual’s personal goals are always paramount and we were really pleased that Iris was able to get home both for Christmas and to celebrate her birthday this weekend.”