Hospital chiefs have launched a campaign which they hope will get more patients back to the comfort of their own bed.
#TheresNoBedLikeHome has been developed by City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Bosses say the scheme supports hospital staff in taking “positive steps” to reduce unnecessary lengthy hospital stays, which can be detrimental to patients.
Experts say that prolonged time in hospital can put patients as more risk of falls, fractures, infection and loss of muscle strength.
The campaign looks at how everyone involved in the patient’s care can play a role in their recovery and making sure that they can go home as quickly and safely as possible.
It is based around the Red2Green days concept, which helps to identify wasted time in a patient’s care journey.
A red day is when a patient is waiting for something to progress their care, such as a planned therapy or care home assessment.
A green day is where the patient receives active clinical treatment that takes them a step closer to being able to go home.
Angela Wadmore, divisional general manager at City Hospitals Sunderland, said: “Our teams work round the clock to try and help patients get back to friends and loved ones as quickly as possible, but inevitably delays can happen.
“Using the Red2Green concept everyone involved in the patient’s care can clearly see what needs to be done to get them one step closer to discharge and what they can do to escalate delays and issues to turn a red day into a green day.
“Lengthy stays in hospital are not always what is best for patients and we all have a part to play in getting them back to the place that they feel the most comfortable – their own bed.
“As well as the work we are doing with our own teams, we are encouraging patients and their friends and families to get involved and support the campaign.
“We need them to be proactive in asking about when the patient can go home and what the plan is to make this happen.
“We also would encourage them to bring in day clothes and footwear so the patient can get up, dressed and moving when they are well enough to do so.
“We are also working with local care homes to help us identify residents through the Red Bag scheme.
“The Red Bag contains information and personal belongings that improves communication and helps to speed up discharge.
“There is city-wide support for this initiative with involvement from our health and social care partners in helping to unblock any delays.”
Ann Fox, director of nursing, quality and safety at NHS Sunderland CCG, said: “We recognise that most patients want to go home as soon as they are able to.
“By using the Red2Green days concept, we hope this campaign can eliminate wasted time in every patient journey - getting people home sooner.”
City Hospitals Sunderland is starting a week long roadshow, visiting wards and departments to make them aware of the #TheresNoBedLikeHome campaign and to give information about Red2Green Days.
Over 200 staff have already received training on the Red2Green day process and the trust has a number of Red2Green champions to support clinical staff.