Additional voluntary sector services at RBH this winter
We are pleased that NHS England is funding some additional voluntary sector services at the Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH) over the winter period to support patients and staff. The A&E Delivery Group (a partnership board which includes Berkshire West CCG, RBH, Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust, the ambulance service and the three local authorities) received Urgent and Emergency Care Transformation Monies and this is funding four pilot services to be delivered by voluntary organisations.
The overall aim is to ensure that patients can be discharged as soon as they are medically fit, can settle back at home with the support they need, and have a reduced risk of re-admission.
British Red Cross
The British Red Cross already delivers the PAtH (Preventing Admission to Hospital) Service as part of the A&E discharge service, transporting vulnerable people home and providing practical and emotional support to resettle at home. This service is being extended from 5 to 7 days over the winter.
British Red Cross is also piloting a new ‘Longer Length of Stay’ service, and will support patients who are at risk of being in hospital for a long time. Care navigators will help the patient and their family to overcome any barriers to the patient going home.
Age UK Reading and Age UK Berkshire
Age UK Reading and Age UK Berkshire are piloting a Hospital Befriending services to support patients who may not have many visitors. Volunteer befrienders will spend time chatting to patients and start the conversation about any support they may need when they get home. This will help patients to plan for when they get home.
Reading Voluntary Action and Involve Community Services
Reading Voluntary Action and Involve Community Services are piloting a Hospital Voluntary Sector Navigator service to provide patients, their families and staff with information about voluntary and community services and activities which can support people when they are discharged. This builds on existing Social Prescribing and Community Navigation services in Reading and Wokingham and discussions we have already had with hospital colleagues. The navigators will also visit patients in the three community hospitals in Reading, Wokingham and West Berkshire.
We were given a very short time-scale for bringing together these pilots and are looking forward to supporting the hospital during the winter period. There are exciting times ahead with a number of paid and volunteering opportunities coming up with British Red Cross, Age UK Reading, Age UK Berkshire, Involve Community Services and Reading Voluntary Action.