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New Milton Keynes health and social care service makes its mark

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05 July 2018

For immediate publication

New Milton Keynes health and social care service makes its mark 

A joint CNWL and Milton Keynes Council service is marking its first six months having helped nearly 1,200 people finish their recovery in the comfort of their own home rather than in a hospital setting.

Home 1st went live in the New Year to enable people who are medically fit to leave hospital and be fully supported in their rehabilitation in their own homes.

Once discharged service users are met at home within two to 24 hours of their return, following which their needs will be assessed and support plan developed.

This means that MKUH hospital staff can concentrate on people who have a much higher level of acute need. 

Alongside supporting discharge from hospital the service also works alongside GPs to prevent admission to hospital through a specialist nursing team who assess and treat patients in their home where previously they may have attended A&E. So far it has so far seen a total of 1,081 referrals for this.

Such a service is important.


  • 35% of 70-year-old patients experience functional decline during hospital admission in comparison with their pre-illness baseline
  • For people over 90 this increases to 65%
  • A stay in hospital over 10 days leads to 10 years of muscle ageing for some people who are most at risk.

The team is made up of nurses, therapists, rehabilitation assistants, reablement assistants, reablement team leaders, health care assistants and also includes speech and language services, clinical psychology services and consultant geriatrician services.

The aim is for the service user to receive a visit from one or two people rather than a separate visit from five or six different teams. It's less confusing, less intrusive and is better for the person because it is less overwhelming for someone receiving support from the service.

Joint service manager Karen French said: "We aim to provide a seamless and smooth service between health and social care making everything as easy as possible for the person to regain their independence with support from our service. It's well known that people recover faster if they are at home because they are feeling happier if they are in familiar and more comfortable surroundings and are closer to their friends and family.

Ultimately this means they are more likely to carry on doing things for themselves, are more engaged with their rehabilitation and can therefore maintain their independence longer."

Co-service lead Michelle Smith said: "Our focus remains on preventing admission to hospital and on supported discharge and reablement.

"Comments from people that have had support from Home 1st include: ‘This service helped me and my family to rehabilitate me back into my own home following hospital discharge; much appreciated' and ‘Helpful in getting me more independent after hospital and the reablement assistants were pleasant and we had some good conversations'."

For more details:

Contact: Senior Communications Officer Jeremy Dunning on 0203 214 5756 or


Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
Stephenson House, 75 Hampstead Road, London NW1 2PL
Tel: 020 3214 5756