People needing help when they leave hospital are set to benefit from a new community service, to help them recover at home.
The Norfolk and Waveney Community Support Service (NWCSS), will be led by Voluntary Norfolk, the British Red Cross and Age UK Norwich and is funded by Norfolk County Council, NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board and Suffolk County Council.
The service is aimed at helping people with everyday tasks, like shopping, walking the dog or making phone calls and supports people to live independently whilst they recover. It supports people leaving hospital and those with short-term needs in the community.
The service has evolved from six separate services into one consistent joined up service for the whole of Norfolk and Waveney. The support provided through the original services will continue but with a combined wealth of experience and skills to support the whole of Norfolk and Waveney. Funding for the service has also increased by 30%, from £471,000 to £621,000 per year.
Cllr Alison Thomas, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care at Norfolk County Council, said: “We know that people recover better from illness and injury when they are in their own homes and sometimes, they need a bit of help to get back on their feet. This isn’t just help with social care but with the smaller tasks that we sometimes take for granted.
“The evidence tells us that if people can keep their home in a habitable condition, eat well and maintain their relationships, there is a much lower chance of them needing long-term care, so this service has the potential to make a huge difference to people’s lives.
“I am delighted that such well-known and respected organisations have joined forces to deliver this newly enhanced service for those recovering at home following hospital discharge.”
The service has been developed in partnership with partners across health and social care and is one of several approaches to support hospital discharges this winter.
Alan Hopley, CEO, Voluntary Norfolk, Gary Morgan, Director for Central England, Health & Local Crisis Response, British Red Cross and Jamie Price, Head of Operations, Age UK Norwich, said:
“The operating model offers an opportunity to minimise duplication, ensure a more joined up experience for the service user, and provide a single point of access for referring organisations across Norfolk and Waveney.
“We know that individuals have better outcomes and readmission is reduced when such support is in place, and the partnership model will utilise the experience and local networks of the three providers to support people and link them into community groups to encourage them to be confident, resilient and engaged with their community.
“We’d like to thank all those who have engaged with the design and set-up of the service and look forward to engaging with stakeholders across Norfolk and Waveney as it rolls out to different referrers. We’re also excited to continue the development of the service to grow and enhance the offer and work with local organisations.”
Executive Director of Nursing for NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board, Tricia D’Orsi, said: “This service will give people greater choice and more control over their own recovery and independence, as they transition towards life living with, or after an injury or illness.
“It is a great example of voluntary organisations, local authorities and the NHS working together to improve outcomes for local people and communities.
“We believe the service will bring benefits to the wider health and care system so that people can leave hospital when they ready, creating capacity for others requiring hospital care.”
The service is made up of a mixed pool of paid staff and volunteers. Anyone interesting in a voluntary role can contact firstname.lastname@example.org