Home First is a new partnership approach to provide more community-based care in Dorset and reduce unnecessary hospital stays.

To begin with, NHS and social care services in Dorset are teaming up to help people out of hospital more quickly and recover in the comfort of their own homes wherever possible.

As soon as a person is ready to leave hospital, they will be discharged home – or to an appropriate care setting – and assessed to see if they require additional support to aid their recovery.

Where appropriate, community health and social care staff will provide a free package of care and rehabilitation for up to six weeks to make sure people fully recuperate and regain their independence.

Home First is in line with new government ‘discharge to assess’ guidelines, as well as evidence which indicates people recover more quickly in a home setting. It will help ensure Dorset has sufficient bed capacity to meet demand, which is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Future work will focus on reducing hospital admissions, and providing the support required to help people remain safe and well in the community.

Home First updates

How it works

Home First brings together staff from Dorset’s acute hospitals in Bournemouth, Dorchester and Poole, community teams from Dorset HealthCare, and social care services from both Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council and Dorset Council.
Together, they form a virtual One Dorset team, divided into five clusters – Bournemouth and Christchurch, Poole, east Dorset and Purbeck, north and mid-Dorset, and Weymouth and the Jurassic Coast.
There is a single point of access (SPA) co-ordinating referrals from the acute hospitals and liaising with cluster team leads to ensure patients are promptly assessed and provided with appropriate support once they have returned home (or to another care setting).

How to contact Patient Advice and Liaison (PALS)

University Hospitals Dorset (Bournemouth and Christchurch hospitals):0300 019 4886 or pals@uhd.nhs.uk
University Hospitals Dorset (Poole hospital):0300 019 8499 or patientexperienceteam@uhd.nhs.uk
Dorset County Hospital:0800 783 8058 or pals@dchft.nhs.uk
Dorset HealthCare: 0800 587 4997 or dhc.pals@nhs.net

How to contact the Carer Support Service

University Hospitals Dorset (Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole hospitals): 0300 019 8714 or carersupport@uhd.nhs.uk

Community support for carers

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP)


Carers Support Dorset
Telephone: 0800 3688349

Information for parents and carers

We have produced a leaflet for people leaving hospital, explaining how the Home First discharge process works, plus a version for carers explaining how they can get involved.

  • Leaflet one

  • Leaflet two

  • Leaflet three

Useful links

Information about adult social care and support in your area.

  • Adult social care in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
  • Who is eligible for adult social care through the Care Act 2014

Advice and appointments

eConsult is free to use for NHS patients. Use eConsult to ask your GP surgery about your health symptoms, conditions or treatment. You can even request things like sick notes and GP letters.

Go to eConsult