We have partnered with the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) to increase voluntary services at Chorley hospital.
The Department of Health is providing a £1.2 million grant to three charities (RVS, Age UK and British Red Cross) to work with 29 NHS trusts across the Country.
The funding will help to improve support for patients, including working in the community to help prevent hospital admissions amongst older people, as well as giving enhanced follow-up support once people have been discharged from hospital.
The funding has been provided for an initial 12 week trial programme, with a plan to extend it further.
Suzanne Hargreaves, Operations Director at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted that we are going to benefit from this grant from the Department of Health. We have been working with the Royal Voluntary Service for years now and their volunteers are valuable members of our team. Our hospitals are busier than ever and the extra support in preventing hospital admission and supporting discharge will prove to be invaluable.”
Lesley Thompson, Head of Support and Development at the Royal Voluntary Service West England and Wales, said: “Royal Voluntary Service volunteers have been supporting the NHS since it was founded in 1948 and we are pleased this additional funding will enable us to work alongside clinical teams in the most under pressure NHS Trusts to improve the wellbeing of older people. With an ageing population putting mounting pressure on hospitals and local authorities, we believe this is where the voluntary sector can prove invaluable. We know that the emotional and practical support our trained volunteers provide can aid the recovery of older patients, reducing delayed discharge and easing the pressure faced by busy A&E departments.”
Stephanie Tufft at Age UK Lancashire, said: “We welcome this recognition of the important role that voluntary organisations can play in supporting the NHS to work as effectively as possible for older people, especially when the system is under extra pressure during the cold winter months.
“By complementing the essential role of health professionals voluntary organisations can help bring the idea of whole-person care to life. In some cases, by providing early support we can prevent older people needing more intensive treatment and care, whether that’s by avoiding a hospital admission or by getting them home earlier through putting good support in place.
“Ultimately all of us, whatever our age, just want to be as well as possible in our own homes”.
We have been working with the Royal Voluntary Service for years now and their volunteers are valuable members of our team