Home First

Home First is a new scheme for Kent that is helping patients in our hospitals get home sooner.

Under Home First, hospital staff in our acute and community hospitals discharge patients by calling one central number – one for east and one for west Kent – which trigger Home First teams into action to ensure the right support is in place.

The new approach, which is being piloted, aims to make sure that every patient who no longer needs acute hospital care, but still needs support, can continue their recovery safely at home.

What does the Home First Team do?

Patients are seen at home within hours and receive an assessment by a Home First Team, made up of community nurses, therapists and social care professionals. Every patient has a personal care plan and this may include therapy, goals, support for carers, any equipment they may need and self-help advice.

What if the patient needs more support to before going home?

For patients who are unable to manage at home, short-term rehabilitation is provided in a community hospital. For example, in west Kent, patients are rehabiliated in an eight-bed therapy ward at Tonbridge Cottage Hospital.

Some people have complex needs and need longer-term care. We provide a robust assessment, before coming to a decision, with them and their families, to move them to longer-term residential care or continuing healthcare.

Where possible, we also assess patients in the community and provide appropriate care to avoid people going into the hospital at all.

Who is involved?

Home First relies on Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust and Kent County Council, working more closely together, as well as involving our voluntary and community sector partners more effectively.

Lesley Strong, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive KCHFT, said: “Home is where the healing begins. Home First aims to make home the first choice for all patients who are medically stable because we know patients recover best in familiar surroundings.

“By working closely together with our acute and social care colleagues and involving the support of our voluntary and community sector partners, we can make sure patients, families and carers are properly supported at home to help them or their loved one recover quickly. This scheme will also help to free up vital hospital beds for people who really need them.”

Contact details

East Kent

0300 123 4415 (patients)

West Kent

0300 123 1807 (patients – Customer Care Team)

Other useful contacts

Age UK

0800 169 6565

Adult Social Services

03000 41 61 61
(Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm)
03000 41 91 91 (all other times)

Hilton Nursing Partners

01233 321 110

Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust
Customer Care Team

0300 123 1807 lines open
8am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
Please ask if you would like the team to call you back.
Text: 07899 903499

Kent County Council

03000 41 41 41
(Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm)
03000 41 91 91 (all other times)
Text: 18001 03000 41 41 41

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Foundation Trust
Patient Advice and Liaison Service

01622 224960
Text: 07736 195022.
Tunbridge Wells
01892 632953
Text: 01892 195024

Rapid Response

24 hours a day, seven days a week
0300 123 4082 (Maidstone)
01732 376 858 (Tonbridge)

Continence Service

0300 7900310

Healthwatch Kent

0808 801 0102


0800 999 0400

Maidstone and Malling
Carers Project

VAM Maidstone Community
Support Centre
39 – 48 Marsham Street
Maidstone Kent ME14 1HH
01622 677337