Helping a patient with ulcers and restricted mobility to return to a clean, safe home.


A physiotherapist asked us to help support a patient by finding a regular cleaner for her in time for her return home, as restrictions with ulcers and mobility meant that she might not be able to keep up with cleaning and tidying. This referral was backed up by further information from nursing staff.

The Challenge

Mobility and Home Cleaning: The patient was not able to move around easily to keep her house clean and habitable. This had the potential to lead to falls, poor mental health and unsafe conditions.

Communication: We needed to speak to the patient to gain their consent and facilitate contact with one of our cleaners to arrange cleaning. It was unclear whether our Community Connector would need a translator as English was not the patient’s first language.

Property access issues: The patient did not have their handbag, containing their keys, phone and purse, with them in the hospital, meaning that they could not assist with property access.

The Solution

Identifying the scope of the problem: Our Community Connector, Lucy, visited the patient on the ward and was able to communicate well without a translator and gain consent to share details with our cleaner. The patient’s discharge was then delayed due to catching COVID-19, and a ward nurse raised further concerns about the condition of the patient’s home and whether it was habitable. The patient had mentioned ‘faeces and blood’ in the property.

Assessing the property: Lucy suggested checking the property’s condition, which would mean getting a new set of keys from the housing trust, Sanctuary. With the patient’s consent, Lucy collected a key from Sanctuaries office and met the cleaning company at the property to get a quote on the necessary cleaning work. The patient had also asked for her purse, handbag and phone from her home, which we did.

Actioning cleaning and repairs: Following viewing the property, Lucy discussed the cleaning requirements with the patient, who agreed to pay for the stained areas of carpet to be removed and the bathroom to be disinfected. Lucy helped the patient to use online banking to complete the transaction.

“Nurses were thankful that I was able to update them regularly and sort out those issues at the patient’s property, and to give access to other services as well – as this would have held up her discharge significantly.”

Community Connector

Lucy was on hand to allow cleaner to access the property and noticed that there was no hot water and the boiler was showing an ‘error’ message. After checking with the patient that the electricity and gas meters had been topped up, Lucy called Sanctuary to ask for an engineer to look at the boiler; she then updated the patient and nursing staff in person.

We had to give the engineer access for the boiler and arrange for JCOS to come to the property to remove the now visible and potentially hazardous carpet grippers and to tape down any edges of the carpet to prevent trips. On showing the patient images of her property, she was very happy that she could now return home.


  • The patient’s discharge could go ahead as planned
  • The patient’s property had been made clean and safe
  • Boiler repairs means hot water and heating were available
  • The cleaner was in touch with the patinet so she could contact them to prevent the house getting untidy or dangerous
  • The patient was really pleased with the support she received and the help clearing the stained carpets and cleaning the bathroom. She expressed her gratitude at every interaction
  • The nurses were thankful for regular updates and resolution of the property issues, which would have help her discharge significantly

To find out more visit the Community Home First Service page or contact Mark Reading, Chief Executive