Kate started at the hospital in January 2018 and so far, she is really enjoying the work. “I am delighted to be offering support to patients and working on their confidence. My role is new here, so I’m developing it to suit the local needs of our patients. We have already introduced some new craft sessions and have more group sessions planned for the near future, including breakfast club, games sessions, PAT dogs and wellbeing monitoring. I am really excited to be involved in such a positive development for the hospital,” she says.
The role of the Hospital to Home Coordinator has been jointly developed through collaboration between Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and Age Concern Hampshire after it was recognised that more could be done to support patients with as they plan to leave hospital. Supporting transition from hospital to home can improve confidence and address the known issues of; social isolation, low mood, anxiety and/or poor compliance with treatment plans.
Alton Community Hospital is just one of a few local hospitals that have teamed up with Age Concern to offer this health coordinator role. Similar joint working is happening at Petersfield Community and Gosport War Memorial hospital too. It is hoped that by spending time with patients in the hospital, focussing more on their social and emotional skills and understanding, as opposed to the medical aspect of their care. The hospital to home coordinator will make sure people have the support and develop skills and confidence needed to return home and stay home.
Anstey Ward manager, Andrew Marsh is very positive about the rewards Kate is bringing to patients. He said: “We identified the need to shift emphasis from supporting our patients to ‘get well’ and instead to make sure that they ‘stay well’ not just while they are with us but continuing their wellbeing beyond their hospital stay. We hope to see less readmissions too, Kate has been doing a marvellous job so far and long may it continue!”