Care home staff have a key role in the avoidance of hospital admissions for residents. The care provide by care home staff has a direct impact on the health and quality of life of their residents. Ensuring a good diet and appropriate exercise are fundamental to a good quality of life. 
Early assessment and detection of health problems, enabling timely intervention, also reduces the need for hospital care. For example: early management of leg ulcers; quick treatment for urinary tract infections. Additionally, ensuring residents take the correct medication, such as drugs for the prevention of osteoporosis, can prevent fracture following a fall; and regular medication reviews can avoid unnecessary reactions to medicines. 
Care homes can help reduce residents’ hospital admissions through education and training of their staff to provide basic nursing skills – see for courses available. Close liaison and partnership with GPs and other community health care professionals also helps reduce hospital admissions. Care home staff can also ensure that end of life care can be planned to enable residents to stay in the care home and avoid an unnecessary and unsettling hospital admission. One third of residents admitted acutely to hospital die during that admission, and it is often apparent when they first arrive that they are close to the end of life. Some elderly patients, on arrival at hospital, receive only very short-term treatment with fluids, oxygen or antibiotics, or x rays to exclude injury, but they then risk being marooned in hospital, waiting to return home. These things could be treated at the care home – except for x-rays; but even x-rays could be organised as an outpatient procedure, thus reducing the possibility of elderly patients getting ‘stuck in the system.’ 
It is important to know when a resident should be admitted to hospital though and it is still always better to be safe than sorry. So, how does a carer know whether a resident requires hospitalisation? Well, that knowledge can only be achieved with training, so that carers better understand the health of their residents. Training can go some way to reducing unnecessary hospital admissions from care homes and have many different courses available for upskilling the care home workforce. 
Tagged as: Care homes
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