Essex based housing association launches Night Owl service to help relieve pressure on local NHS


Swan Housing Association has launched an innovative new “Night Owl Service”, providing Care and Support services throughout the night in partnership with North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Anglian Community Enterprise (ACE). Covering Colchester, the 15-month pilot project supports the discharge of hospital patients who require assistance during the night.


The service operates 7 days a week, 365 days a year, between 11pm and7am. Working in pairs, Swan carers provide extra support and reassurance to help ease the crucial transition period between hospital and home. This overnight support enables patients to be discharged from hospital more quickly and helps to ease the strain on hospital admission wards by freeing up beds.


This innovative overnight service builds on the successful “Home from Hospital Service” that Swan has run in partnership with the CCG since 2014. Users are referred to the service by their GP, hospital or ambulance staff after an accident or health incident and receive support to enable them to again live independently in their own home following discharge from hospital.


Referrals received during working hours trigger a rapid response delivery whereby patients receive almost immediate support to enable them to leave hospital. The support offered by Swan Care Services includes: home safety checks; fitting equipment to help prevent trips and falls; domiciliary care, befriending and emotional support, all within four hours of the original referral. If referrals are received outside of working hours the delivery deadline is noon the following day.


The rapid response service has supported nearly 1400 patients in their own homes since April 2017 avoiding unnecessary longer hospital stays.


Pete Watts, Swan’s Director of Care and Support, said “We are delighted to expand our Homecare and Support (Home From Hospital) service so that we can now offer overnight support to enable people to leave hospital and return home sooner. Our new Night Owl service provides essential reassurance to vulnerable people who need support through the night when they leave hospital which helps to ease the pressure on admissions.”


Sam Hepplewhite, Chief Officer of North East Essex CCG said: “We’re very happy to be offering this service to our community that helps patients return to the comfort of their own home after a stay in hospital,”


Simba Chandiwana, Integrated Care Manager at ACE said: “As a system integrator, Anglian Community Enterprise (ACE) are pleased to be subcontracting these services to Swan, in order to offer services in line with our Care Closer to Home  – offering local people an integrated and seamless network of patient-centred services so that they are supported to be independent in their own homes, following a hospital admission and to prevent hospital admissions.”


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