AN ALLOA woman has praised a service which ensured she received medical care in the comfort of her own home while she looked after her canine companion.

Helen Sammels has twice been supported by NHS Forth Valley's Hospital at Home service and spoke of the difference being in her own surroundings made.

It comes as the service is set to expand across the country, thanks to the announcement of further funding.

Mrs Sammels, who received treatment for a respiratory condition, said: "I am sure I got better quicker by being able to stay at home.

“It really made a difference being in my own surroundings, but I still got the care, services and tests I required.

“The Hospital at Home team were great and I feel really grateful for all the treatment and support they provided.

“I also have a little dog and I didn’t want to leave her. Being able to stay at home with her was very important to me and, fortunately, with the support of the Hospital at Home team I was able to do this.”

The Hospital at Home scheme aims to reduce hospital admissions for elderly patients by providing medical care in the comfort of their own home.

It enables people to receive treatment which would otherwise require an admission to hospital, such as intravenous fluids or temporary oxygen supplies.

More than 750 patients from across the area have benefited from the service since it launched last May.

Health secretary Humza Yousaf praised the work of the team last week as he announced a further £3.6million to expand the service across the country.

Evidence shows that those receiving treatment at home through the service are more likely to avoid hospital or care home stays for up to six months following an acute illness.

For older patients, it means they can stay at home longer without losing their independence.

Health secretary Humza Yousaf, who visited the team based at Falkirk Community Hospital last week, said: “Hospital at Home is one of the many ways we are providing more care in the community and reducing pressure on hospitals.

“From the success of the scheme so far, we can see that there is a real benefit to treating people at home where possible.

“We know that frail patients tend to occupy hospital beds for a longer period of time and that is why we are expanding the scheme.

“In reducing the number of prolonged hospital stays, we will free up more hospital beds.

“With additional funding, all health boards can apply for money to either develop or expand their services with the aim of doubling the capacity of Hospital at Home by the end of this year.”