Kerry Ledwith
Hospital in the Home Manager, BlueCare


Kerry commenced the BlueCare Hospital in the Home service in February 2019, working with Buderim Private hospital and expanding to UnitingCare’s Wesley and St Andrews Hospitals in Brisbane. With a background in acute nursing, both in hospital and at home, Kerry set up a home intravenous therapy service in the UK, before moving to Australia. Kerry also assisted in creating the expert patient program allowing patients with chronic disease to better manage their own condition. This was a pilot program and has become gold standard practice. With a passion for providing right care, right place, right time, she has found her niche with Hospital in the Home. This allows her to provide patients with the acute care they would be receiving in hospital, in the comfort of their own homes. With a variety of conditions and treatments offered with more emphasis on choice, this successful service can only grow.

BlueCare Hospital in the Home: How an Aged Care Provider Partnered with Private Hospitals to Deliver Care in the Home. 

Many people prefer to recover from hospital treatments in the comfort and privacy of their own home. This approach also assists in managing demand for hospital beds. With an existing in-home nursing workforce and expertise, partnerships between hospitals and aged care providers like BlueCare is a significant opportunity for cross-sector collaboration. Delivering these services well improves people’s transitions between healthcare settings, the home, and aged care settings. They also improve the relationship between hospitals and aged care providers. While Hospital in the Home services make good sense, setting these up and delivering them has a range of challenges.

This presentation will provide a case study of BlueCare’s experience partnering with three private hospitals to deliver hospital in the home services in South East Queensland. BlueCare has been operating Hospital in the Home programs with public hospital partnerships since 2014, and we began growing this into private hospitals in 2019.

This work has involved forming and cultivating relationships with hospital services, with each relationship holding a range of local nuances, especially in a geographically disperse state such as Queensland. Through this we have had to navigate the thorny issue of funding and pricing of service delivery – dealing directly with health funds, working with private hospitals and competing in government tenders. Getting the policy setting for the relationship and service model right is also critical to success. This must provide clarity of purpose, roles and responsibility. Managing workforce and service demand in recent years has also been a challenge, and we will share some of our strategies for this.

A critical aspect of driving program improvement and engagement with health services is customer experience. By delivering great customer experience and high-quality clinical care, we are able to build trust and grow the reputation of aged care services with the acute health sector. In turn, this creates future opportunities to improve the interface between aged care services and the health system.

What we have learnt will also guide the future of the program, how we can grow hospital in the home offerings in Queensland and what the role of technology is through this.