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The voluntary and health sectors working in partnership

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They help identify and arrange help primarily for older people who have ongoing practical assistance needs. The aim is to avoid people having to go into hospital because they are having difficulty managing at home. Referrals usually come via a doctor or medical practitioner. The Supported Care Teams then try to find solutions in the voluntary sector that may help support those people be independent and promote their wellbeing. It’s a very rewarding role in providing solutions that help people in the community. 

As Tonya explains, the geographic range and diversity of patients’ needs are both challenging and inspiring.  “We’ve helped someone in Sheringham find a dog-walker, arranged for replacement of worn-out and hazardous carpets for a resident in Brundall, a cassette-tape player for an end-of-life patient in Chedgrave and a befriender for someone living in Thetford.”

There are many more similar and varied examples, each contact and each assessment visit aimed at identifying an individual’s needs. The solutions might be simple; they might be complex, but they ‘re-enable’ people to carry on living independent lives in their own homes

“Good Neighbour Schemes, churches, dementia support groups and parish councils are very helpful – they know their own territories and we’re building contacts all the time so that we know who to approach first and find solutions quickly” added Susanne.

The Supported Care work does highlight gaps in provision, which is helpful in determining which geographic and specialist areas are most in need of attention. At a very personal level, the offer of a lift to a medical appointment, help with a plumbing emergency, moving a hospital bed into a house or just help with the shopping can make all the difference to help someone stay safely in their own home.

For more information contact Susanne Anderson or Tonya Winsley at [email protected]  or [email protected] or telephone 01362 698216