NHS and Voluntary Sector boost partnership working over winter

The NHS and three voluntary sector organisations are boosting their partnership to support people this winter.

This follows the success of last year’s collaboration which directly supported over 8,000 patients across the country.

Whilst the NHS and voluntary sector maintain a close partnership all year round, this is increased during the winter months to support patients’ recovery in their own home.

In North East and Yorkshire Age UK, British Red Cross and St John Ambulance are using a share of £232,019 from NHS England and NHS Improvement to help care for patients who are both in and out of hospital.

The providers are running seven schemes across the region, all of which have been chosen to help support the needs of the local communities.

Local Age UKs are providing various services across the region, offering small, personal interventions that add up to a big difference.

A gentleman in Leeds, aged 68, was admitted to hospital due to self-neglect, and after several falls. The local Age UK team supported the gentleman to return home safely and helped him avoid readmission by putting him in touch with a community social worker for ongoing help.

In Middlesbrough, British Red Cross have launched a new assisted discharge service at South Tees Hospital. This service supports people to leave hospital and return home safely, getting them back on the road to independence.

Warren Brown, North East and Yorkshire’s Director of Performance and Improvement at NHS England and Improvement, said: “Support from our voluntary partners during the winter months is invaluable to the NHS and we’re delighted to once again partner with Age UK, British Red Cross and St John Ambulance.

“This year, the practical and emotional services they provide so effectively in and out of hospital will help more than 1,000 patients in North East and Yorkshire – although given last year’s success this number is likely to be much higher, meaning more people will benefit from their support.”

Judith Ward, Operations Manager for British Red Cross in the North of England, added: “Our specially-trained teams provide practical and emotional support to people, from the moment they leave hospital until the time they have settled back at home.

“Our teams make sure the lights and heating are working and that the fridge is restocked with fresh food. If people need any additional support once they have returned home, we can help put them in touch with other organisations that can.”

In December, St John Ambulance contributed 635 ambulance hours in the North East. The organisation worked in city centres across the region, helping to return patients to their nights out or home.

Adam Williams, National Head of Community Response at St John Ambulance, said: “St John Ambulance is proud to provide support in communities across the country throughout the year.

“We always support the NHS during seasonal peaks and troughs and lend our CQC approved services, fleet and highly trained people when needed.”


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