KGH given cash to ease ‘bed blocking’

Kettering General Hospital
Kettering General Hospital

Older people in the county will be offered increased help from charities to support them at home following a stay in hospital with a share of £1.2 million.

Kettering General Hospital and Northampton General Hospital will be given funding through programmes supported by Age UK, Royal Voluntary Service and British Red Cross. The hospitals will share the money with 29 other hospitals to help support older patients leave hospital and prevent so called ‘bed blocking’ where a patient cannot be discharged because of a lack of support in the home.

It is hoped that 10,000 patients can be supported by tailored projects during winter, especially those who live alone.

The Naseby Dementia Ward at Kettering General Hospital will receive funding as will older people using A&E departments in both hospitals, where patients will be given full support to avoid feeling distressed, kept informed, comfortable, hydrated and are able to communicate fully with staff.

Chief officer at Age UK Northamptonshire Liam Condron said: “We welcome this recognition of the important role that voluntary organisations can play in supporting the NHS, especially when the system is under extra pressure during the cold winter months.

“By complementing the essential role of health professionals, voluntary organisations can help bring the idea of whole-person care to life.

“In some cases, by providing early support we can prevent older people needing more intensive treatment and care, whether that’s by avoiding a hospital admission or by getting them home earlier through putting good support in place.”

Kettering General Hospital’s director of strategy and governance, Clare Culpin, added: “We really value the involvement of Age UK Northamptonshire in our older adult care and are working very closely together to develop ways of further supporting older people both in hospital and at home.”