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Royal Voluntary Service blog
Find out about the people behind Royal Voluntary Service in our series of guest stories from our volunteers, staff and partners.

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Royal Voluntary Service response to care cap report

Today’s report by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries highlights the worrying situation that many older people in Britain find themselves in. The cost of care for older people in Britain can be hugely expensive, even with a cap on the cost; the role of low level, inexpensive care such as that provided by third sector organisations mustn’t be underestimated. Services such as Royal Voluntary Service’s Good Neighbours service supports older people in their home by helping with chores around the house and getting out and about to the shops and medical appointments, is a source of simple but vital help that improves the wellbeing of older people and has a direct impact on their overall health. This kind of preventative care must be utilised by local authorities if we are to meet the growing needs of older people in Britain.

Posted by David McCullough, Royal Voluntary Service chief executive at 00:00 Monday, 12 May 2014.

Royal Voluntary Service response to inquiry into poorly planned hospital discharges of older people

The Daily Telegraph today reported on an inquiry to be launched by Healthwatch England into claims that patients with dementia are being sent back to homes without food or heating. Discharging vulnerable patients in the middle of the night, or at any time when they do not have someone to support them when they get home is deeply distressing for the older person and as today’s figures have shown, is costing the NHS billions in readmissions. The link between hospital and community care is currently very fragmented, with many people not receiving the continued care they need to ensure they do not need to be readmitted to hospital. Simple tasks such as collecting an older person from hospital, ensuring there is food in the fridge and that prescriptions are collected can all make a huge difference to a person’s health and ultimately readmissions.

Royal Voluntary Service’s Home from Hospital service sees these basic care needs met by volunteers. Since our Home from Hospital scheme in Leicestershire launched in 2012 there have been very low readmission rates among those who used the service (7% within six weeks; the average readmission rate for older people is over 15%). Volunteers are a vital part of the solution, plugging the non-medical gaps with essentially an army of ‘good neighbours’.

Read 'Avoiding Unhappy Returns' report

Posted by David McCullough, Royal Voluntary Service chief executive at 00:00 Thursday, 08 May 2014.