Derby City Council’s Hospital to Home (H2H) team has been shortlisted for the Social Worker of the Year Awards 2017. The team is in the running for ‘Team of the Year’ in Adult Services.

81 social workers and social work teams from across England have been selected as finalists across 16 different categories, celebrating the achievements of practitioners in both children’s and adult services. The winners from each category will compete against each other to be named the ‘Overall Social Worker of the Year 2017’.

The Social Worker of the Year awards is the leading celebration of its kind in the sector, recognising the success of the profession’s most innovative and dedicated social workers.

The Hospital to Home team has been based within the Royal Derby hospital since December 2016.  It aims to reduce the time people remain in hospital for, instead allowing them to recover in their own homes, taking care of their emotional and physiological needs.

Often in hospital the focus is on beds, not people, with patients being moved from one bed to another. H2H recognises that patients recover and respond best to rehabilitation within their home, where their lives have been lived, where their treasures and belongings are and where they are able to resume their lives.

The H2H team has had a significant impact on locality teams, to whom Royal Derby Hospital (RDH) refers. Between September and November 2016, 380 cases were referred from the RDH to locality teams. Between December and February 2017 with the H2H team operational, 86 cases were referred – a 77% reduction in referrals.

H2H has worked in partnership with Home First and the RDH discharge team to roll out the nationally recognised Discharge to Assess process. Figures for this are reported nationally, and Derby City Council has achieved the number one status for a unitary authority in the country.

The awards ceremony will be held at the Lancaster Hotel in London on the evening of Friday 24th November, where the winners of the 2017 awards will be announced.

Heather Wakefield, Head of Local Government at award sponsor UNISON, said:

“This award recognises the best work in adult services and a team which consistently goes above and beyond to make a positive difference to the lives of the people it supports. All teams named as finalists should be very proud of their achievements.”

Cllr Martin Repton, Cabinet Member for Integrated Health and Care said:

“The Hospital to Home scheme is a vital and important part of the services we offer to get people out of hospital and back into their homes as quickly as possible, when it is safe and appropriate.

“It has been a privilege to see the Hospital to Home team go from idea and aspiration to success and delivery. What is remarkable is the massive impact the team has had in such a short space of time – they are making real-life differences to people’s lives.

“It is a great tribute to the team manager and her H2H team that not only do the team stay true to social work values, but they are also agents for change, seeking to become a beacon of good practice. They should be extremely proud of this achievement – I know I am! I wish them all the best at the awards.”

Case study

May Lane was admitted to RDH after a stroke. The 103-year-old retired ballroom dance teacher remained on a ward for three weeks. Her 71-year-old son, who is May’s carer, praised the H2H team for helping to “bring mum home” with an early discharge and for arranging home care.

“It was her birthday four days after the stroke and she spent it in hospital where they made a big fuss over her and treated her like the Queen.”

“Lorraine from H2H asked mum if she wanted to go home and mum said ‘yes’. So, Lorraine organised home care for us (the family) to care for mum, and also invited an occupational therapist to come to the house to arrange nutritional care for mum. She also got in touch with local charities to come and spend some time with us and keep us company as it can get lonely!

“Mum is much happier at home. Having help makes life a little bit easier for the both of us. I would definitely recommend H2H, this service is special because it gives patients, particularly the elderly, some hope and they don’t feel like they are put on the scrap heap. They speak to people like human beings and they genuinely care about people.”

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