A ground-breaking support project stopping Bradford and Airedale patients being re-admitted to hospital has saved the NHS and taxpayers as much as £136,000.
The Home from Hospital scheme is being hailed a success for helping patients ease back into everyday life after being allowed home.
In the first nine months so far, the scheme has supported 250 inpatients – with only four of them having to be re-admitted for the same condition within 30 days. Research estimates driving down re-admission rates among patients netted the NHS – and taxpayers – thousands of pounds in savings.
The scheme has now received more funding from the local NHS and has started a recruitment campaign for more volunteers to help its work grow.
Home from Hospital provides a lifeline to elderly and vulnerable patients – many of who are at high risk of being re-admitted.
The scheme helps with everything from benefits guidance and making sure houses are safe, checking utilities are in working order, identifying falls risks, liaising with health care workers and proving information so people can make choices about their own health.
Patients also get a hamper of food basics and a safety and well-being checklist, plus a friendly face from volunteers co-ordinated by the award-winning charity Carers’ Resource based in Shipley and Skipton.
Home from Hospital’s Anna Jackson said the initiative had won support not just from patients but also from hospital teams, wards, services and individuals who had made referrals.
Nine out of ten patients said they would use the scheme again and other feedback showed 71 per cent were feeling less anxious, 62 per cent were more confident about managing their future healthcare needs and 72 per cent said the scheme had made them feel happier.
Eccleshill couple John and Elaine O’Donnell say the Home from Hospital scheme was “a God-send” for them.
The scheme helped Mr O’Donnell when he was discharged from Bradford Royal Infirmary and also his wife who had a growing role as carer.
Their Home from Hospital contact Sally Hinds also helped get a lightweight wheelchair for Mr O’Donnell as well as a Blue Badge to make it easier for his family to take the couple out.
Mrs O’Donnell said: “I can ring the team for advice and support and that is such a big reassurance for me.”
The support project, which lasts up to six weeks, is offered to patients being discharged from Airedale General , Bradford Royal Infirmary, St Luke’s and community hospitals at Westbourne Green, Eccleshill, and Westwood Park in Bradford, Troutbeck in Ilkley and Currergate in Keighley.
To become a volunteer, contact the Carers’ Resource on (01274) 449660.