Support Leaving Hospital

Support leaving hospital from Royal Voluntary ServiceNone of us relish the thought of spending time in hospital and the experience can be disorientating. Older people in particular can find it difficult to settle back into home afterwards, especially if they have no-one nearby to support them. With social care services under pressure, many older people leave hospital only to be readmitted shortly afterwards. Having someone there to give a word of encouragement, make a cup of tea or check on medication can make all the difference.

Working with NHS partners, Royal Voluntary Service provides Support Leaving Hospital, sometimes called Home from Hospital for older people returning home after illness, surgery or an accident. Our friendly volunteers provide practical and emotional support to help clients get back on their feet, regain their independence and reduce the chance of re-admission.

Support Leaving Hospital volunteers help with the jobs that make recovery a little easier, from preparing a healthy meal to walking the dog, tidying the garden or collecting shopping or prescriptions. Volunteers get to know clients while they are still in hospital to get a thorough understanding of their situation and need. They visit the client’s home before they are discharged from hospital to check that everything is fit for a safe arrival home – power, heating and hot water are on and groceries stocked, for example – before escorting the client home, staying in regular touch for up to six weeks.

When the University of Oxford analysed the impact of our Home from Hospital services in nine hospitals across Leicestershire, they found that the service not only reduced readmission rates (9.2% compared to a national figure of 15% for those aged 75 years and over [1]), it also helped to significantly improve clients’ health and wellbeing.
[1] Emergency readmissions to hospital within 28 days of discharge: indirectly standardised percent, 75+ years, annual trend,

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