Welfare and Safety Netting Calls project hailed as great success

Our Welfare and Safety Netting Calls service, launched in April last year to ensure patients discharged on a zero pathway (for patients considered not at risk) receive a follow-up call post discharge, has been a massive success.

The service has gone from strength to strength and the team carried out their 10,000th call this month.

Lorraine Nelhams (pictured) was recruited to work on this project as Volunteer Discharge Support Co-ordinator to meet the recommendations of the new national discharge policy.

“Twelve volunteers support the service and their help is invaluable,” said Lorraine.

“They all receive bespoke training which equips them with the skills to ask a series of questions to ensure patients are safe to remain at home with adequate support.

“Historically patients who are discharged on Discharge to Assess pathways  one to three are covered within their recognised packages of care but those patients on pathway zero received no formal follow-up.

“Working alongside the Integrated Discharge team, we recognised that it was beneficial to use volunteers to carry out calls due to their impartiality.”

The Integrated Discharge team supported Lorraine to develop the service by providing a dedicated room and IT equipment for the volunteers.

As the services is expanding, Lorraine is looking to recruit more volunteers to ensure cover.

“The feedback from patients and their families has been really good and has clearly benefited our hospital around re-admission avoidance,” she said..

“We have also developed relationships with various external voluntary community and social enterprises who can support patients with shopping, gardening, cleaning, equipment loan, medication deliveries and companionship.

“We can also solve numerous in-house queries such as  medications, discharge letters, lost property and seek clinical advice.

“Patients told us it was ‘nice to feel they weren’t forgotten’ and others said our volunteers were ‘the only people’ they had spoken to on that day.

“Our volunteers enjoy being part of this new service, they find making the calls rewarding and feel they are contributing to patients’ wellbeing and hospital improvements.

“Colleagues on the wards are also appreciative as we receive so many lovely compliments often naming individuals for their exemplary care.

“Denton ward have started displaying patients’ feedback on their wall.”

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