With Britain’s ageing population, hospitals are encountering unexpected challenges in discharging elderly patients. In some cases patients can’t return to their homes because they would have no one to support them while recuperating, or because their home environment needs adapting to meet altered living requirements.

To combat the problem, Age UK Richmond developed its Nightingale Service helping older patients return home to continue living independently. They offer a wide range of support including help around the home, picking up shopping, arranging transport or accompanying individuals to appointments, for example, to get them back on their feet again. Patients must be referred to the service by a healthcare professional and must live in the borough of Richmond upon Thames.

The service works with the Kingston, West Middlesex & Teddington Memorial Hospital to provide a single point of contact and has seen an overwhelming success, saving the NHS over £250,000.

Article supplied by Stephanie Mackenzie