Hospital in the home

A healthy ex farmer in his 70s, Warwick never needed to know about our Hospital In The Home service…  until it was coming up to Christmas, and he was stuck in a hospital in Melbourne.

“One of our friends – a nurse at SHDH – told us about the Hospital In The Home service and suggested my doctor in Melbourne ring Maria*. It was clear from the start they got along very well and within days I was home and being visited by the HITH nurses,” he explains.

“Maria and the doctor co-ordinated everything – I went straight from St Vincents to my home in Swan Hill…. didn’t even have to go through the hospital at Swan Hill again, not that I would have minded – they are all wonderful at the hospital. It was just quicker, easier and less hassle to be allowed to go straight home,” Warwick explains.

He was particularly pleased because this was at the height of COVID restrictions and doors were closed to visitors throughout Victorian hospitals, so if he remained in hospital, it would be a very different Christmas for him.

Despite still needing daily care, and due to excellent co-ordination between St Vincents staff and the SHDH team, Warwick was home in plenty of time to celebrate Christmas and the new year in the comfort of his own home.

He still needed expert attention, and says he had complete faith in the expertise of the HITH nurses.

“We had a house full – the family came from Singapore, Sydney, all over the place – It was a joyful time for me to be at home. I might have missed all that if I was still in hospital, I’m sure it helped my wellbeing.”

Warwick says he’d never been on prescribed drugs, so he had many questions. “The nurses explained everything, which means I could understand about the dosage and what the drugs were doing.”

 “The staff involved me and (wife) Joan in every step, and explained everything so we could understand what was going on.”

Warwick felt very safe in the nurses’ hands – they were gentle, caring, knowledgeable and inclusive.

“It was great to have someone aside from Joan to talk to,” he says, “They provided terrific emotional support which helped me feel very safe.”

Warwick was seen by about eight different staff – including some trainees – and he says the level of care was very high. They were as regular as clockwork – And they were extraordinarily punctual, arriving each day within minutes of the appointed time… except for one day.

“I told them I needed to go somewhere and would need most of the day to get there and back. ‘That’s OK, they said, we will reorganise the schedule and fit you in much earlier’ – it was marvellous how they worked with us,” he explained.

So, what could we do better Warwick?

“There’s just one thing – nobody knows about Hospital In The Home… that’s a big reason why I’m happy to do this story. SHDH’s Hospital In The Home certainly helped me, and I think it can help a lot more people,” he says.

Thanks for sharing your story, Warwick, as part of the hospital’s quality improvement work, we are feeding this story back to the HITH team, and helping develop a plan so more people know about this team’s great service.

This story has been collected as part of the Swan Hill District Health Consumer Stories Project.
If you have a story to tell, or would like to share your experience, please contact the
Quality, Experience and Safety team on 03 5033 9894 or feedback@shdh.org.au