A SCHEME to allow patients to leave Staffordshire’s biggest hospital days earlier than usual will start go live on Monday.
The University Hospital of North Staffordshire will pay a private company more than £500,000 to send nurses to their homes addresses to oversee their final recovery.
But the patients will technically stay under the care of the hospital until doctors say they are fit to be discharged.
Under the so-called Hospital@Home programme, they can also be fast-tracked back to the ward if necessary they deteriorate.
UHNS chief executive, Mark Hackett, said: “Patients say they really want is to be able to go home as quickly as is safe to do so, and this will support that.
“We are committed to reducing bed occupancy rates at the hospital and this will help free up 41 beds for other patients to use.”
Despite the launch going ahead, local NHS funding bodies the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have yet to sign it off.
And confusion mounted as their leaders claimed UHNS had not even signed a contract with the Burton-based nursing company for it to start.
CCGs finance director, Tony Matthews, said:“We have received more assurance on safety and quality from UHNS and are still in dialogue with them about it.
“The trust has not even signed the contract with its own provider yet, and although UHNS controls its own governance, we would need to sign a contract variation agreement for it to go ahead and we will use contract levers to ensure the safety of the scheme.”