The Hospital to Home project came to an end on 31st March 2014 and has left a fantastic legacy of volunteers and a model of good practice which Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have adopted and we wish them all the best in the running of the Mealtime and Wellbeing volunteer programmes developed by the project.
A tremendous thanks goes to all the dedicated volunteers on the project, without their input, views, patient support and observation time the project would not have been possible. The difference they have made to older people’s lives can not be measured. As one patient summed it up
“Nurses are for nursing. Volunteers are friends helpers”
Many of the volunteers were able to attend the Hospital to Home’s Volunteer Thank You event at the Grand Hotel in Tynemouth and are pictured above.
On the 21st March the final project consultation event took place to find out what support older people in Northumberland wanted after hospital discharge. An overview of the Hospital to Home project was given by Julie Dixon-Patterson. Healthwatch Northumberland and NHS PALS representatives give a brief insight in their roles to improve care and how the public can access their services.
Summary of Hospital to Home Project
Over 18 months the project has achieved its three core outcomes at very respectable indicator levels. Thanks to the Hospital Mealtime programme and the Wellbeing and Information programme , 1696 older patients have benefited from the extra support and social contact. A tool to assess person centred care on wards has been established, enabling 16 ward reports to be generated and staff feedback sessions to be delivered, 69 hours of volunteer observation time contributed to this. The joint learning occasions between Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust staff, project staff and volunteers, were extremely beneficial to both organisations. A successful pilot (following a patient into the community) was carried out and two consultation events, provided future learning for community discharge projects and services. The project has achieved the following short term impacts:
- improvement in volunteer skill levels, confidence and wellbeing;
- raising ward staff’s awareness of the benefits of volunteers;
- joint learning between project staff, volunteers and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust staff;
- enhancing sustainability of volunteering in patient care roles at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
Medium term impacts have emerged thanks to the partnership with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust:
- Trust to retain the services of the Hospital Observation Volunteers for future ward observations at North Tyneside General Hospital. Volunteers will remain under the direction of Age UK North Tyneside;
- Trust taking on responsibility for the project’s Mealtime and Wellbeing volunteers and will continue the programmes, they hope to expand volunteer numbers so more wards can benefit.