As we’ve reported before, Leeds Labour Council has been a pioneer in the sort of joined up thinking which links hospital care and social support.
At the heart of this are the 37 council-funded Neighbourhood Networks. These have already proved their worth – keeping an estimated 1450 older people out of hospital last year, and supporting another 617 who had been discharged.
Building on this, the Council – in partnership with Age UK. Local health services and a range of charities – is supporting a scheme to help people settle back into home-life after an illness or injury.
Called the ‘Hospital to Home’ scheme [H2H for short], the scheme will draw on volunteers from the charities – but also from the Neighbourhood Networks.
The project will link hospital and local adult social care – and work with both to identify patients who need that bit of extra help.
That may involve shopping for them, cooking, picking up prescriptions, checking their home’s safety – and cleaning.
Older people will not be left to cope with recovery on their own.
Adam Ogilvie, who has responsibility for adult social care commented
“Adjusting to home life after a stay in hospital is an anxious time for anyone, but for older people there is the added worry of getting transport back home, getting around the house and, for many, wondering when they will next see a visitor or a friendly face.
“That transitional period is a very vulnerable time for older people, when they can be at risk of either going back into hospital or becoming isolated and lonely, particularly over the winter months when getting out and about can become much more difficult.
“Having a team dedicated to making that transition less stressful will make a massive difference and this money will be a huge boost to a project that is a genuine lifeline to older people in Leeds.”
The scheme will run over the next six months – including over the crucial Christmas and New Year season.
Labour aspires to make Leeds the UK’s most age-friendly city.
This is the sort of scheme which will realise that aim.