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Hospital patients get help from the Red Cross

John Bizzell, Red Cross Support Worker

Published at 12:16pm 8th April 2019.

Patients leaving hospital in Dorset have been receiving emotional support from the British Red Cross to ease their concerns and get them home quickly and safely.

New Red Cross 'assisted discharge' services have launched at both Dorset County Hospital and Royal Bournemouth Hospital to help remove practical barriers to someone getting home.

Trained support workers help patients after they've been told they can leave hospital, driving them home and making sure they are settled in. For example, the team can check that lights and heating are working, that the fridge is cleared and restocked with fresh food and that their care line is working. This helps to address patients' fears and concerns so people feel safer and more confident when they get back home after a hospital stay.

Photo of Dorset County Hospital

The support workers will then continue to help for up to 72 hours after the patient has been discharged, making visits or phone calls to check they're feeling ok and see if they need any extra support. If they do, they could be referred to the Red Cross Support at Home service or the Connecting Community service which offers up to 12 weeks of visits from a volunteer. The Red Cross will also work in partnership with Dorset First Point, a service run by the YOU Trust, to support patients with housing related issues.

The services at Dorset County Hospital and Royal Bournemouth Hospital will initially run for three months. This increased capacity is thanks to funding received from Dorset County Council via Central Government.

John Bizzell, 68,joined the Red Cross assisted discharge team in August after retiring from the local ambulance service. 

John said: “I get great satisfaction from helping people, and a sense of achievement. I think it’s a calling, going into this kind of work. It’s about listening to someone and understanding what’s important to them."


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