Graham Precey

Graham Precey

Head of Corporate Social Responsibility

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Hospital Readmissions for Older People Fall From 80% to Just 10%, Thanks to Legal & General’s Investment

In September 2015 Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) established a new ‘Home from Hospital’ service at Portsmouth QA hospital, through an investment of £40,000 from Legal & General’s Group Charity Committee.

In September 2015 Royal Voluntary Service (RVS)established a new ‘Home from Hospital’ service at Portsmouth QA hospital, through an investment of £40,000 from Legal & General’s Group Charity Committee.

Back in August 2015, David McCullough, CEO of RVS wrote a blog for us talking about the launch of the service saying how the ‘Home from Hospital’ service places a caring volunteer at the centre of an older person's recovery plan. Eighteen months later an impact report has been published showing how the service has huge benefits for everyone involved.

The amazing results of the hospital’s ward based service

  • Nearly 300 people have benefited from this service and resettled back home
  • Re-admissions for older people have fallen from 80% to 10%, with a very welcome easing of pressure on NHS beds.
  • The creation of a new volunteering workforce of 30 people for RVS in Portsmouth Hospital has resulted in over 2,000 home visits being made.

Chris Knight, Managing Director of Legal & General Retirement, Retail and a new member of our Group Charity Committee said: “The total intervention cost for this service is just £140 per person. It’s clearly made a huge impact upon the retired generation. Yet again Legal & General are stepping in to help where others dare not step. Our work and money is making a real difference.”

David McCullough CEO of RVS said: “Forward thinking company, Legal & General, with a robust corporate social responsibility strategy that is tackling today's urgent social needs, has committed to funding an invaluable new ‘Home from Hospital’ service, laying down the gauntlet that we can only hope other major corporations will pick up.  Thanks to their support older people will get back on their feet.”

Where next?

Legal & General has helped get this started and proved that this is service is much needed. The local RVS team are currently in discussion with the hospital Trust and Portsmouth City Council to secure future funding for this highly valued service.

How RVS volunteers helped one man get back in touch with family

Client D: Mr T proudly told me: “They call me ‘The Inventor’. I get a lot of joy out of making things.”

Mr T, a former technician in the RAF, was admitted to QA with a circulatory problem in one leg. It had taken him away from what he likes to do at home, which is making things. “If I’m fed up of doing something I’ll try and find a way to get around it!”

Before going to hospital Mr T was building a device to help him adjust the seat on his mobility scooter.  He met an RVS representative on G4 ward and they talked about the things that were on his mind.

He was having difficulty contacting family and approaching discharge he was concerned he wouldn’t be able to buy groceries himself. He asked if a RVS volunteer could ‘check in’ when he got home.

Help with stocking up the freezer and making appointments

An RVS volunteer arrived the week of discharge and realised he was running low on frozen meals. They were able to shop straight away and stock up the freezer. They provided re-assurance about what support was being provided by the hospital and helped organise upcoming appointments Mr T said: “Without the RVS volunteer I might have forgotten my appointments’.

The volunteer also made suggestions for arranging the living room in a safer way and assisted with some minor adjustments. Mr T’s independence was boosted with the adjusted space: ‘I’m able to run round with a duster on my own’.

After such a long period in hospital he was apprehensive about making first contact with neighbours. So the volunteer accompanied him on short trips outside to get fresh air, do short walking and re-connect. Listening to his concerns about his family, the volunteer was able to signpost him to a local family mediation service which could offer support free of charge.  It was great to hear the comment that the RVS extra support had helped him re-gain his rhythm at home.

Getting back to his old self

By the end of the six week support period he was back in touch with neighbours, helping them remove some weeds along their shared wall. “If I see them we’ll have a chat.” Mr T has now regained contact with his family - who were able to restart visiting - and is also receiving visits from a befriender.

The target for the future was to get back to designing the scooter aid and eventually use it to visit a newly opened supermarket. “I feel more back to my old self thanks to your visits.”

Article by: Graham Precey, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility

More information:

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