Money raised by Captain Tom to be used to fund new ambulances

Hospital staff next to ambulance

BHRUT chief executive Tony Chambers (l), an ambulance crew member, Mike Exford from the Red2Green team, deputy chief operating Officer Aleks Hammerton and chief nurse Kathryn Halford (r). - Credit: BHRUT

A hospital charity has decided to buy three new ambulances for elderly patients using money raised by a national hero. 

The King George and Queen’s Hospitals Charity will fund the ambulances with £390,000 it received from NHS Charities Together, the organisation for which Captain Sir Tom Moore raised over £33 million by walking laps of his garden. 

It will spend a further £110,000 from general funds on the HomeFirst Scheme, where assessments for a patient’s rehabilitation, equipment and care takes place in their own home to give a “more accurate picture” of the level of support they require. 

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) said the scheme, run by its Red2Green team, ensures long-term decisions are not made about patients’ futures while they are in hospital. 

The King George and Queen’s Hospitals Charity also plans to work with Age UK on additional staff visits for those at risk of isolation.

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These patients will receive help to video call friends and family and have access to Sparko entertainment, which includes fitness sessions and live discussion groups. 

It also includes the caregiver app, which allows Age UK staff, relatives and carers to set reminders that pop up on the TV. 

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Charity chairman George Wood called the veteran’s fundraising “inspiring,” and said the charity wanted to put their share of the money to “good use”. 

He explained: “I can’t think of a more fitting project – supporting our elderly and vulnerable patients to get home from hospital, while also offering initiatives, such as Sparko, to reduce social isolation and loneliness, which have been exacerbated due to the pandemic.  

“It has also been a great opportunity to work collaboratively across our communities, such as with Age UK.” 

Red2Green transformation facilitator Mike Exford added: “This scheme is making a huge difference to our patients, who we know would prefer to be in their own homes where possible.  

“It also lessens their risk of potential harm, such as loss of independence, common after long hospital stays. 

“Not only that, it’s improving patient flow through our hospitals and freeing up our acute therapists to focus on those patients who really need them.” 

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