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Volunteer groups to get £2m to support vulnerable patients this winter

NHS England has today announced up to eight voluntary sector organisations will share £2m to provide extra help over the busy winter months.

The groups, including Age UK, British Red Cross and Royal Voluntary Service, will run local projects that target those people most at risk of admission to hospital and who need extra support when they are discharged, such as older people living alone without a support network.

This is a joint initiative between the national tripartite (NHS England, Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority, with the Association of Directors of Social Services) and the Cabinet Office.

Sarah Pinto-Duschinsky, Director of NHS Operations and Delivery, said:

“The colder winter months can take their toll on many of us but none more so than older people and those with long-term conditions, where even the common cold, can trigger a hospital stay.

“These innovative projects will support the fantastic work of doctors and nurses across the NHS and help ease the pressure on busy our A&E departments by helping people stay well and recover from illness.”

Among the groups winning funding today is the Royal Voluntary Service in the East Midlands who will grow their ‘hospital to home’ service, that aim to help older people being discharged from hospital to recover and create social support networks so that they are less likely to be re-admitted.

David McCullough, Royal Voluntary Service Chief Executive, said:

“We are delighted to receive this funding to expand our Home from Hospital scheme. We know that the right help on a return home from a hospital stay can make a huge difference to the health and wellbeing of older patients, and our research has found that support such as this can reduce readmissions by as much as 50 per cent.

“Home from hospital schemes are a cost-effective and successful way of enabling older patients to fully recover and integrate back into their community, allowing them to enjoy the quality of life they deserve.”

Age UK and the British Red Cross working together in Leeds will run a hospital discharge support and A&E admission avoidance service. The scheme will operate 7 days a week including holidays, with patients supported throughout their stay in hospital and at home.

Minister for Civil Society Brooks Newmark said:

“I am pleased to announce the winners of these exciting new funds. Taken together, we believe that these projects will showcase the potential of social action to reduce hospital pressures and improve patient experience, and will be sustained into the long-term by local commissioners.”

The funding is part of a commitment by NHS England to support innovative solutions that will help ease thepressure on services like A&E particularly around busy periods and will support the fantastic work of the paid staff across the country’s busy hospital network.

The Nuffield Trust has been appointed as external assessors to evaluate the success and impact of the selected schemes.

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19 comments

  1. Pearl Baker says:

    There appears to be no mention of the Mentally Ill in this exercise.

    The Rt Hon Ian Duncan Smith MP DWP ‘fit for work’ scheme, not only leave the sick, disabled, and vulnerable without money, but has led too many early deaths, how will this latest initiative help them.

  2. Amanda Pattullo says:

    I would be very grateful if a list of the projects could be shared to enable us to see if there is anything within our locality of Wirral and also to support our ongoing learning and experience by linking into some of the early implentor sites. Thank you.

  3. Suzy James says:

    Can you advise please if any of the eight successful organisations are in Worcestershire.

    • NHS England says:

      Hi Suzanne,

      The organisations to receive funding as part of the programme are:

      • Westbank Community Health and Care, South West
      • Royal Voluntary Service, East Midlands
      • Age UK, South Lakeland
      • Age UK, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly
      • Age UK, Oxfordshire
      • British Red Cross Society, North Derbyshire
      • Age UK and British Red Cross, Leeds

      However, it would be worth checking with your local Clinical Commissioning Group or voluntary organisations in your area to see if they are already running similar schemes.

      Kind Regards
      NHS England

  4. Kathy says:

    This is all lovely, well and good, but how on earth would the people who are supposedly going to benefit from this even know it exists. This bragging about funding and the delight of the organisations who receive it is of zero use to the very people they are meant to serve.
    For goodness sake, spend less time talking about how wonderful you all are and provide information to the people concerned. TV ads, information packs in GP surgeries and hospitals, mental health units. Rememer the funding is to be used for those in need and they ‘need’ to know how to access the service.

    • NHS England says:

      Hi Kathy

      Thanks for your comment. All of the organisations who have received funding have been working hard locally to put the schemes in place and ensure those who need help and support, know about it is there. We expect those organisations and partners to make information about their scheme available locally and to encourage volunteers to become involved.

      Kind Regards
      NHS England

  5. Alan Christopher Creaser says:

    I have really Bad CFS/ME/FMA & I’m 60. Last Year I ate far Too Many raw hazelnuts & I was in Agony & I ended up Having to go into Hull Royal Infirmary for 8 days…. (They only give U 10 days for a triple heart bypass…),
    After day 6 the Doctor said to me – “Tommorow – Out U go”…. 🙁 I Begged & pleaded with him Not to do this as I lived Alone & had NO support, & after listening to me grovel for ages he recanted & gave me a further 24 hours, But he Wouldn’t give me any longer (which I Needed).
    – I was discharged to go home on the bus Alone,still holding my stomach with pain…. 🙁
    NOBODY bothered to tell me that The Royal Voluntary Service might be able to help support me Once I got home…. 🙁

  6. david burbidge says:

    The usual suspects again get funding without open competition and transparency , The local 3rd sector and Social Enterprise don’t get a look in when it comes to the big boys

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you entirely. Writing these bids requires a great deal of time and effort. It would save us all a lot of wasted time and resources if only the ‘usual suspects’ were invited to bid. We never have any feedback of why we fail – only some banal generalised comment about an insufficiently robust risk assessment or some similar unquatifiable reason.

    • NHS England says:

      Hi David,

      Thank you for your comments. The award process launched in April was aimed at engaging as many voluntary sector organisations as possible. The initiative was launched via press release and advertised online, receiving coverage across the country both in print and online. In addition, six information events were held in May around the country. These were fully subscribed to, attended by over 200 representatives across a large range of voluntary organisations.

      Kind Regards
      NHS England

  7. Emma Olsen says:

    Please could a complete list of the projects receiving this funding be shared so that I can see if there is anything in place in Medway/Kent area and so that we may learn about schemes in other areas that could be implemented here. Thanks.

    • Liz Patroe says:

      I agree – that would be helpful.

    • NHS England says:

      Hi Emma,

      Many thanks for your comments. The organisations to receive funding as part of the programme are:

      • Westbank Community Health and Care, South West
      • Royal Voluntary Service, East Midlands
      • Age UK, South Lakeland
      • Age UK, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly
      • Age UK, Oxfordshire
      • British Red Cross Society, North Derbyshire
      • Age UK and British Red Cross, Leeds

      Kind Regards
      NHS England

  8. John Adams says:

    The Minister is pleased to announce the winners of these exciting new funds. Could he in future ensure that the Third Sector is informed there is a competition for such funding?

    • NHS England says:

      Hi John,

      Thank you for your comments. The award process launched in April was aimed at engaging as many voluntary sector organisations as possible. The initiative was launched via press release and advertised online, receiving coverage across the country both in print and online. In addition, six information events were held in May around the country. These were fully subscribed to, attended by over 200 representatives across a large range of voluntary organisations.

      Kind Regards
      NHS England

  9. Alan Christopher Creaser says:

    Hi,I live Alone in Hull & I’m 60 years old….. I Suffer Badly from “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”/Fibromyalgia syndrome & am Usually confined to my home – Except When I Have to go out to buy food & essential supplies…. 🙁
    I used to get £73.50p pw for a ‘personal-assistant’ from Hull CC social services,But it Only got me 9 hours pw ‘home-help’ so I complained about it. I’ve been interviewed by 2 workers from social services,But Untill they publish their report I Now get NOTHING…. 🙁
    This forthcoming winter I (Don’t think), I can Just email age,uk in Hull & ask them for help out-of-the-blue, as it were…. 🙁
    Q) What can I do in that case ?
    Thanks,

    A.C. Creaser

    • Hava Larf says:

      Yes
      Go for it

      • Brenda says:

        Your must have been assessed under FACTS criteria. What level of the 4 was assessed? How has this changed? Have you asked for a copy of the assessment? Your S.S may not pay on the low level but have they assessed you correctly?

        Go to a community care specialist solicitor. Try community care legal aid web site. We could do this for you but we are in Somerset. Somerset Community Care Matters. You could try Bridge McFarland.

        The ‘cuts’ are blamed for everything, but where an assessment of need is made the need must be fulfilled. It’s the law!

    • NHS England says:

      Dear Mr Creaser,

      Leaving hospital and going home alone can be a traumatic experience. Your GP surgery or local council should be able to give you information about what services are available locally.

      Kind Regards
      NHS England