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Home First

What is Home First?

Hospitals are the right place to be when you are in need of specific medical or surgical treatment. However, it is proven that people recover better at home, when medically fit, rather than in hospital.

Home First is an approach which involves health and social care professionals working together to help you recover at home, with the right support, whenever it’s safe to do so.

How does Home First Work?

When you no longer need hospital care, the best place for us to see what help and support you might need to keep you as independent as possible is in your own environment, rather than in hospital.

The Home First services will support you for the first few days you are home.

The Home First team, made up of skilled health and social care professionals (including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, therapy assistants, nurses, social workers and social care workers) will complete any assessments in a timely manner in your home.

Working with you in this way gives a truer picture of what longer-term support you may need while the short-term support is provided.

Am I eligible?

We want as many people in West Sussex to be discharged from hospital as soon as they are ready.

The hospital team will discuss with you:

  • Whether you have received all the medical treatment you need that can only be provided on a ward; and
  • Whether you are able to be at home without a 24-hour staff team on hand. For example, if the Home First team are visiting you a few times a day, you are safe in between visits.

If the answer to both is yes, then you’re probably eligible.

What happens if I need support after the first few days of discharge?

The Home First team will support you for up to 10 days (although it could be for a much shorter period).

After you have been assessed at home, the most appropriate service to support your needs will be arranged.

What happens if I do not need any support after being discharged?

After returning home, you may not require any more health or social care support to live independently. In this case, the Home First team will either discharge you from their service, ensuring you know where to go for further support, or refer you to another community service, which may include a voluntary or charitable organisation.

Will I have to pay for this service?

No. You will not have to pay anything for the Home First service. The service is led by Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (SCFT) and is supported by social care professionals and care providers.

However, if you need longer-term social care support after Home First, then you may need to pay towards this.

You can ask your social worker or a member of the Home First staff team about this.

Alternatively, you can contact West Sussex County Council’s Adults’ Carepoint for a copy of the 'Do I need to pay for care in my home or local community?' leaflet on 01243 642121 or email socialcare@westsussex.gov.uk.

Calls using Relay UK: 18001 01243 642121.

  • Service Location:
    West Sussex
  • How To Access:

    Via the ward of the Acute hospital or Community hospital that you are staying in.

  • Contact Details:

    Your team contact details will be provided on our first visit. If you need to contact the team prior to this, please call OneCall on 01903 254789.

  • Opening Hours:

    08:00 – 20:00

  • How to find us:

    Varies according to which hospital you are in.

  • More Information:
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