Tuesday, 04 August 2015
Royal Voluntary Service, is launching a new Home from Hospital service at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth thanks to funding from Legal & General.
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 Royal Voluntary Service, assisted by the Kings Fund, 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, our volunteers 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, compared to the national average.
"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 McCullough, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service
"We are delighted to be supporting the Queen Alexandra NHS Trust and Royal Voluntary Service 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."
Graham Precey, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Legal & General
"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."
Linda Field, Head of Nursing for Medicine for Older People, Rehabilitation and Stroke at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
For further information
Royal Voluntary Service is one of the largest volunteering charities in Britain powered by more than 35,000 volunteers who regularly provide practical help to over 100,000 older people in their homes, communities and in hospitals.
To become a local volunteer search for volunteering opportunities in your area. Or help make a difference by making a secure online donation.
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