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News & Media

Media Release

Date: 18 May 2018

RUH-led Home First project wins NHS 70th birthday award

A community-wide project to help patients go home sooner from hospital has been named as a regional winner in the NHS70 Parliamentary Awards.

The Home First scheme was launched by the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust in 2017. It aims to reduce the length of stay for patients who are clinically well enough to leave hospital, but who might need extra support to return to their usual place of residence.

It has been chosen from hundreds of applicants to represent the South of England in the Parliamentary Awards competition to mark the NHS's 70th birthday. As regional champion in the Excellence in Urgent and Emergency Care category, Home First will now vie with other regional winners for a national award to be presented at a ceremony in the Palace of Westminster in July.

Kerrie Hopson, RUH Home First clinical lead, said: "We are thrilled and honoured to be recognised for our work and nominated for this NHS national award. Home First is a real team effort, a system-wide project requiring health, social care and charity colleagues to work together to improve patient discharge. It's rewarding to know we're all working with the shared goal of getting more patients home, on their feet and regaining their independence."

Claire O'Farrell, Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Home First team member, said: "Each of the team is inspirational in their desire to get more patients home from hospital, focused on the needs of each individual patient and their family."

Rachel Pearce, Director of Commissioning Operations South West, NHS England South West, said: "Congratulations to Home First who have been recognised for the innovative service they are providing to help reduce the length of time patients stay in hospital.

By working closely with colleagues in the community they are providing real continuity of care for patients, helping speed their recovery and maintain their independence. I wish them luck in the national awards."

Home First is a partnership of organisations that includes the RUH Bath NHS Foundation Trust, Wiltshire Council, Wiltshire Health & Care, Medvivo, Virgin Care, Age UK Bath, Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Somerset County Council.

The NHS70 Parliamentary Awards, sponsored by IBM and Teva, recognise the massive contribution made by the individuals who work in and alongside the NHS.

Launched in February, it asked the region's MPs to find and nominate those individuals or teams they thought have made the biggest improvements to health services in their constituencies across ten categories. Home First (Bath) was nominated by Bath MP Wera Hobhouse.

All of the champions will now be invited to the national awards ceremony, which will be held on July 4th, the day before the NHS's 70th birthday.

Notes to Editor

For more information on the NHS70 Parliamentary Awards, please contact the NHS England Communications Team on 0113 824 9226 or email

The NHS marks its 70th birthday on July 5th 2018, and the NHS70 Parliamentary Awards is part of a range of activities being organised by NHS England and NHS Improvement to mark this milestone, and the achievements of the NHS and those who work for and with it.

These range from ceremonies for NHS staff in Westminster Abbey and York Minster, the special 10p NHS coin released by The Royal Mint and new resources for schools to engage children and young people to think about a career in the NHS, to local open days, exhibitions and other events being staged by hospitals and other health organisations.

People and organisations are also encouraged to take part in the NHS Big 7Tea, with tea parties happening across the country to mark the birthday, sharing their NHS stories and raising money for one of over 250 dedicated NHS charities.

Find out more about NHS70 celebrations and how to get involved at

Further information on the NHS70 Parliamentary Awards is available at

About the RUH:

  • The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust provides acute treatment and care for a catchment population of around 500,000 people in Bath, and the surrounding towns and villages in North East Somerset and Western Wiltshire. The hospital provides healthcare to the population served by four Clinical Commissioning Groups: Bath & North East Somerset CCG, Wiltshire CCG, Somerset CCG and South Gloucestershire CCG.
  • The Trust has 759 beds and a comprehensive range of acute services including medicine and surgery, services for women and children, accident and emergency services, and diagnostic and clinical support services.
  • In 2015 The Royal United Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was acquired the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) NHS Foundation Trust. The RNHRD treats patients from across the country offering services in rheumatology, chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome/ME, cancer related fatigue and fatigue linked to other long term conditions such as multiple sclerosis.
  • The RUH is changing - we have an exciting programme of redevelopment underway transforming our site and further improving the services we provide. The Trust is now working towards building a purpose built RNHRD and Therapies Centre and a new Dyson Cancer Centre. For more details visit:

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