Red Cross to help prevent Havering residents visiting the hospital

A new service which aims to prevent the need to visit hospital is now available to Havering residents.

Havering Council and the new clinical commissioning group have set up Help Not Hospital, a new scheme run by the British Red Cross, to provide support to adults at home.

The service will work with hospital discharge, health and community reablement teams across the borough to provide support, leading to speedier discharges, assisting people to remain independently in their homes, and freeing up hospital beds.

In the longer term, it is hoped that this will lead to improved quality of life, reduce health and social care interventions, increase personal dignity, safety, independence and confidence.

It will help 250 vulnerable people over a one year period for six weeks per individual.

Those who use the service will be supported according to their assessed needs and this will be reviewed and monitored on a regular basis.

While volunteers will change day-to-day during a typical week, a dedicated support worker will be assigned to provide the same regular contact.

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Those who use the service will be encouraged to socialise and regain their confidence and independence.

Cllr Steven Kelly, cabinet member for individuals, said: “We need to think about the future of care for older people, particularly as Havering has the highest proportion of older people in London.

“This is one of many projects that we have decided to roll out across the borough to ease pressure on hospitals and social care.

“It’s also about encouraging older people to socialise, keep active and gain independence and confidence so that they don’t become isolated in the community.”

Vanessa Spiller, from the British Red Cross, said: “We at the are committed to providing this kind of service all over London, and indeed the UK; our volunteers are well-trained and experienced in helping people to remain active and socially engaged in the community.”

To find out more about the service or to volunteer visit, or call 01708 763 529.