A VITAL new service has been launched to help sufferers of dementia integrate back into the community after being in hospital.
The Home from Hospital scheme is a free initiative being run by the Hospital of God Care Services, at Minerva House, in St Mary’s Court, Horden.
Co-ordinator Joanne Blackwood said: “Hospital of God is a charity providing dementia care and support through our Home From Hospital scheme.
“A re-enablement worker will go into hospital, whether through A&E or on a ward, and provide the patient with support. This could be through personal care or eating and drinking.
“Upon discharge the worker will make sure there is food in the cupboards, that the dog has been walked and that bills have been paid.”
Care services manager Gail Defty said: “As we all know patients with dementia can do less well in hospital due to their communication difficulties and cognitive difficulties.
“The Hospital of God, as a dementia specialist, can fill some of these gaps by providing specialist support at the point of admission, during their stay on a ward and continuing support on discharge.”
The new scheme is designed to reduce the length of hospital stays and to prevent failure to return home successfully and subsequent readmissions. It is partly-funded by the Easington Clinical Commissioning Group and is free to East Durham patients.
It involves close working between GP practices in East Durham, district nurses, acute hospital services and the Hospital of God as the service provider.
The Hospital of God previously ran a similar service at Glendale House, in Blackhall.
But when the home closed, the Hospital of God, which has headquarters in Hartlepool, bought its own property in Horden.
The organisation also runs other schemes in Horden, including days services, coffee mornings, Memory Lane cafes and carer support services.