About Hospital at Home

Hospital at Home is a short-term, targeted intervention that provides a level of acute hospital care in an individual’s own home, or homely setting that is equivalent to that provided within a hospital.

The Hospital at Home programme supports NHS boards and health and social care partnerships to develop services that enable people to access acute level care in their own home.

The key features of Hospital at Home services in Scotland are detailed in Hospital at Home: Guiding principles for service development and listed below.

  • The severity of the condition managed (such as sepsis or pulmonary embolism) differentiates Hospital at Home from other community service provision.
  • A hospital specialist acts as senior decision maker and responsible medical officer, sometimes with the help of other grades of medical staff.
  • It covers short, time-limited acute episodes of care and is not intended to prevent access to specialist acute care. Patients are treated as though admitted to hospital, but managed within their own home.
  • It provides urgent access to hospital-level diagnostics, such as endoscopy, radiology or cardiology where necessary.
  • It provides a different level of interventions, such as access to intravenous fluids and oxygen.
  • Care is delivered by multidisciplinary teams of healthcare professionals complying with current acute standards of care.
  • It complements other community-based health and care initiatives which support patients to remain in their own homes.


Examples of Hospital at Home

The 'Hospital at Home: Guiding principles for service development' includes an evidence review that identified key findings on the benefits of Hospital at Home:

  • Hospital at Home can be delivered safely without increased rates of death or readmission to acute care
  • Hospital at Home may reduce the likelihood of patients living in residential care following an acute episode
  • patients express high levels of satisfaction with the service, and
  • costs of Hospital at Home are generally lower than inpatient care.


Get in touch

If you would like more information contact us at his.communitycare@nhs.scot.