Local authorities and VCSE groups play key role in helping people to get better in their own homes

Local authorities and VCSE (voluntary, community and social enterprise) Groups in BSW have been helping local health and care services by providing vital support to people to make sure they are getting the support they need when they get home from hospital.

The Bath and North East Somerset (BaNES) Community Wellbeing Hub, a collaboration between BaNES Council, HCRG Care Group (formerly Virgin Care) and third sector organisations including Bath Mind, Age UK and 3SG, secured £16,000 in funding to provide packs to patients discharged from hospital to ease their transition back home.

The packs provide three meals a day for three days, snacks, drinks and toiletries. Patients also receive a welfare call within 24 hours of receiving the pack and a follow up call one week later along with onward referral to other services and support.

So far 45 packs have been distributed to patients or will be offered to patients to avoid hospital admission.

Wiltshire Council has also been helping through its Wiltshire Support at Home (WSAH) scheme which provides short to mid-term care to people needing additional support when they leave hospital.

The WSAH scheme offers help to people with personal care, food preparation, daily living activities and access to local resources and facilities as they start to take the steps towards becoming independent again.

The service is jointly funded by the B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BSW CCG).

Gill May, Director of Nursing and Quality at BSW CCG, said the schemes are playing a hugely important role in supporting our pressurised health and care services.

“While it is absolutely right that people who are acutely unwell should be cared for on a ward, spending more time than necessary in hospital, especially when a doctor has said the patient is well enough to go home, can ultimately have a negative effect on recovery.

Prolonged hospital stays can lead to preventable health issues, such as muscle loss and pressure sores, which is why these new initiatives that support people to continue their recovery at home are so important.”

One relative of a patient receiving care said the WSAH service was making a significant difference to her grandmother’s health and wellbeing.

“The Wiltshire Support at Home staff are amazing, Gran is really happy with the support being received, she told me they always ask how she is and talk to her about her day which makes her feel happy”