Ensuring Smooth Transitions: The human consideration to repatriating patients.
In the realm of repatriating patients back to the UK, care homes maintain a crucial criterion: they require a first-hand assessment of individuals before accepting them. This process ensures that suitable beds are available for the patient within the chosen care home in the UK, with hospitals often serving as the only viable temporary repatriation stop-off many cases. Unfortunately, there have been instances where family members have had a change of heart, declining to provide care for the patient – even as they arrive at The Channel Tunnel. The family have been forced to make decisions around loved ones that need to come home from Europe at short notice and need to get them back to the UK, often bickering about who will be looking after their relative on their arrival in the UK.
To tackle these unforeseen challenges and prioritize the welfare of the patients, implementing simple yet effective contingencies has become imperative. Equipping our road ambulance repatriation teams with multiple fuel cards, fresh crews, and additional vehicles proves instrumental in minimizing disruptions, but the human element outside of the business can be the one that impacts the patient.
Managing the expectations of the family members is equally crucial. By effectively communicating and setting clear expectations, we can ensure a smoother repatriation to the UK for both the patients and their loved ones. You can have all the kit, the best crews and experience – you need to know how to manage the family more than the CQC inspection!
In conclusion, repatriating patients demands a comprehensive approach that goes beyond mere logistical arrangements. Care homes’ insistence on assessing individuals first-hand underscores the commitment to delivering appropriate care and this has to happen. Simultaneously, effective communication and managing family expectations are pivotal in securing the patient’s well-being, knowing this assessment is in place. Only through a holistic and considerate approach to the family and try as best we can to be reassured there is a place of care, can we ensure a successful repatriation with a less stress on our vulnerable patient as possible.