Health care provider tackling social isolation

A leading North East Foundation Trust has launched an initiative aimed at helping to support patients being discharged from hospital who might have little or no support once they arrive home.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has secured funding from Helpforce –  a national charity at the forefront of a national movement to improve the lives of NHS staff, patients and our communities through the power of volunteering to launch the project.

Speaking about the practical side of the project, Barbara Bright, Director of Corporate Affairs and Chief of Staff explains “our volunteer service has grown immensely over the years. The range of volunteers and their diverse skillsets have helped support our patients during their time within our Trust. This initiative adds a little extra in making sure that patients are comfortable once they are discharged home.”

“We want to ensure that once a potentially vulnerable patient is home that they are set up to deal with the immediate aftermath of a hospital stay. Simple things – have they got the basics in – milk, bread. Have they got enough of their prescription to last until a relative / carer comes to visit?.”

The Trust were one of only 12 organisations who were awarded funds by Helpforce in February this year to help fund innovative projects involving volunteer services within hospitals.

Paul Wharton, Volunteer Coordinator for North Tees and Hartlepool adds “our volunteer workforce is a wonderful and diverse community. Over the years the traditional notion of what a volunteer does has changed dramatically. This initiative is just another step in ensuring that those we work to support have the best possible care. To be awarded the monies to facilitate such innovation from Helpforce was the best possible start to the year.”