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Living at home independently thanks to new initiative

By 13th November 2017September 6th, 2020No Comments

Stroke survivor great grandmother Margaret Paxford is back living independently at her Thornbury home after intensive rehabilitation from Sirona therapists and nurses at the town’s hospital.

Sirona is a not-for-profit social enterprise providing community health and care services in South Gloucestershire, Bristol and parts of Bath and North East Somerset. The care provided by its staff was recently rated “Outstanding” by the Care Quality Commission.

Margaret has benefitted from what is called the “Discharge to Assess” service. This is where people who are medically well no longer have to wait in hospital for an assessment of their on-going needs but can be assessed either at home or in a community setting. Sirona has operated this in South Gloucestershire in partnership with North Bristol NHS Trust and South Gloucestershire Council for the past three years. Around 150 people are supported via this home-based route every month, with a further 80 continuing to have therapy support in our local rehabilitation units, one of which is Henderson Ward at Thornbury Hospital

Cathy Daffada, Sirona’s Lead for Inpatient Rehabilitation, says: “We have a number of initiatives to ensure people who are medically stable are able to leave hospital quickly and safely to continue their rehabilitation in their own homes or in an alternative community setting. We know that people recover better in familiar surroundings following a stay in hospital.”

Now Sirona is expanding the initiative to include people who have had stroke or a broken hip and Margaret, 83, was delighted she was able to be cared for closer to home; she was also the first person to experience this speedier discharge from Southmead Hospital after a stroke.

“It made such a difference to me being local to where I live; I was on home territory and it was also easier for the family to visit. In Thornbury they had me walking with the Zimmer frame and they used to tell me to slow down!

“It meant when it came to coming home, I knew I would be able to live independently – the only visit I need is linked to my medication.”

Margaret and late husband David, who was in charge of the retained fire crew at Thornbury Fire Station and also worked at Berkeley Power Station, have three children, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Cathy said: “Home really is best for people to continue their recovery and we were delighted with Mrs Paxford’s progress on the ward that meant she could return home and be safe.

“As well as bringing Mrs Paxford closer to home, the move to Thornbury Hospital also meant that a bed was released earlier at Southmead for someone needing more specialist care in the first few days after a stroke. Mrs Paxford had been in Southmead around three weeks and previously would have needed to stay there for another four weeks for assessment and specialist rehabilitation. Having an alternative to a long hospital stay is better for everyone concerned.”

Cathy and Margaret recently featured on Made in Bristol TV and the video interview can be viewed here.