What We Do
Among our current programmes and areas of focus are:
Good Neighbours Scheme
This involves helping the older members of our community. We aim to enhance their quality of life through volunteers who offer the kind of support a ‘Good Neighbour’ might give. The service is provided free of charge with the basic aim of helping to combat loneliness for people over 65 living in Sheffield.
Referrals may include:
- Regular or occasional friendly (social) visits.
- Holiday check short term for the duration of a relative’s holiday.
- Re-arranging furniture to enable greater mobility.
- Occasional sitting to give a carer time to attend an appointment
- Escorting to hospital appointments (service user to bear the cost of any taxi)
- Telephone support, a friendly call on a regular basis.
- Pen pal Scheme, receive some happy post, a letter, card or drawing from a friend you haven't met yet.
The Co-ordinator takes referrals from a wide range of sources including district nurses, G.Ps, social work teams and various intermediate care teams. The Co-ordinator also takes many referrals from relatives and potential service users.
Wherever possible inappropriate referrals are passed on to relevant agencies.
Hospital To Home Scheme
The Hospital To Home Team helps people before they go into hospital, whilst they are there, and immediately after they leave. Our support can often extend to family and friends of the patient.
The scheme operates at the Northern General Hospital, the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and Weston Park Hospital, also providing significant input into community settings - taking referrals from hospital staff, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and discharge teams. Referrals are also taken from Community teams, social workers and individuals.
The team provides a wide range of practical help and support free of charge and is able to respond on the day of referral. Many people benefit from the scheme; older people who may be frail, socially isolated, have no relatives and are living alone, as well as other vulnerable individuals. These people may have various concerns, for example fridges left full of food, fires and lights left on, a pet that needs feeding, clothes and food shopping or bills that need paying.
Typical tasks that are undertaken include:
- Arranging basic shopping to be delivered for a patient on discharge;
- Collecting older people from hospital on discharge and settling them in at home until the appropriate care arrives be it health professional or family member.
- Delivering and fitting small home aids & adaptations such as commodes, bed levers and chair raisers;
- Collecting clothes and other personal items from home requested by the patient/ward staff etc;
- The taking of measurements needed by occupational therapists;
- Short term feeding of pets;
- Heating or airing the home prior to discharge;
- Collection of a patient’s keys to provide access. For example the fitting of a hand rail or to let workmen in for repairs, adaptations, environmental health;
- Assistance with moving small items of furniture to facilitate a hospital bed delivery or hospital discharge;
- Buying white goods on the patient’s behalf e.g. kettles, microwaves, toasters and other small items;
A&E to Home
Assitance is available for older people who have had a visit to A&E with a minor injury but are well enough to go home with some support. The service covers the A&E Department at the Northern General Hospital and the Emergency Admission Unit and the Minor Injuries Unit at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and operates between 9am and 9pm, seven days per week including bank holidays. We take the patient home and settle them in (checking the heating is on, making a cup of tea etc.).
Temporary Key Safes
We loan out temporary key-safes to people who need them. These help prevent delayed hospital discharge by providing temporary key access for the carer(s) until a more permanently fixed key-safe can be fitted.
High Seat Chair Loan
We also loan out high seat chairs for a period of 6-8 weeks. These are primarily for patients who have had hip or knee surgery and are there to aid recovery. We currently have a stock of 20 chairs with all of them currently out on loan. In addition we have a small number of end of life chairs which are loaned out to patients who are nearing the end of their life.