4 Aug 2015
Older people’s charity - the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS), is launching a new Home from Hospital service at Queen Alexandra hospital, Cosham, Portsmouth.
The service, which will be available for the first time on the G4 ward of QA, run by Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, will see volunteers working alongside hospital staff to prepare older patients for going home and supporting them following their discharge with up to six weeks of regular home visits to help them settle back home.
This support can make a huge difference to people’s recovery. Previous research conducted by the RVS identified that older people returning home from hospital without enough support are more than twice as likely to be readmitted within three months.
As part of the service, the volunteer will prepare the person’s home, making sure the heating and lights are on and that the kitchen is stocked with essentials. Once home, they offer companionship and simple tasks such as helping with shopping, collecting prescriptions and medication and providing transport to follow-up medical appointments. In addition, they can refer onto other services if required by the individual and help plan longer-term social and practical help.
Previous research conducted by Royal Voluntary Service found that older people supported by the charity’s Home from Hospital service following a stay in hospital were 50 per cent less likely to be readmitted.
David McCullough, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service said: “This service will mean more older people will receive the support of a caring volunteer who will be there to help them get back on their feet after a stay in hospital. We know that placing a volunteer at the centre of a person’s recovery plan can make a huge difference, which is why we are delighted to receive this funding from Legal & General.”
David has written a blog about the new Home from Hospital service called 'Working together to help older people'.
Graham Precey, our Head of Corporate Responsibility, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Portsmouth Hospitals NHSTrust and RVS in the delivery of a new service to help over 200 vulnerable people a year get settled in back from hospital. We believe that there need to be more three way conversations between companies, NHS Trusts and Charitable service providers to ensure continuity of service as the public finances get tighter.”
Linda Field, Head of Nursing for Medicine for Older People, Rehabilitation and Stroke at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “These volunteers will make a significant difference to the lives of older people after they are discharged from QA.Their support will be invaluable in helping our patients, some of whom may have been in hospital for a length of time, to settle back into their own homes. This ongoing support benefits patient hugely, and has a positive impact on physical health as well as emotional wellbeing. It is a great opportunity to work in a collaborative way across organisations for the benefit of our patients.”
Royal Voluntary Service supports over 100,000 older people each month to stay independent in their own homes for longer with tailor made solutions. Through its army of 35,000 volunteers, the charity runs services such as Good Neighbors (companionship), Meals-on-Wheels and Books-on-Wheels that alleviate loneliness and help older people. Royal Voluntary Service also provides practical support for older people who have been in hospital through its On Ward Befriending and Home from Hospital services and via its network of retail shops and cafes.