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  • Writer's picturePCP

Caring for those returning from hospital

Healthwatch Stockton-on-Tees recently spoke to Hannah Hammond, from the The Five Lamps charity organisation in Thornaby.

She works for their ‘Home from Hospital’ team (Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund), which is designed to help local residents over 50 settle back into their home after a hospital visit.

Hannah and her colleagues do everything from shopping and cleaning to picking up prescriptions and taking clients to medical appointments, but she says whatever the task, the team are up for it.

Photo: The Home from Hospital team – Hannah (left), Megan (centre) and Claire (right).

“The last year has proven just how much people need human contact in their life. Especially when they have been in hospital and are a bit anxious about coming back home. She said: “We’re used to going the extra mile for the people we help, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

“The people we work with may be ill, but it’s also that it can effect their confidence and mental health. Many of them get lonely as well, so it’s important we use the time we have with them to the best of our ability.”

As you can imagine, the last year hasn’t been easy for Hannah and the team, as some of their services had to stop because of Covid-19 restrictions and they couldn’t enter properties because their clients had to shield.

Government guidance also meant that some home visits could happen from a distance on doorsteps, but the team couldn’t carry out their usual daily tasks.

“It’s not been ideal, but we did what we could do in the circumstances. Some of the people we help genuinely see us as an extended family, so to have contact restricted was really hard for everyone to take.

“Now we are getting back to a normal situation though, we’re really looking forward to being back in to the thick of things. It’s a breath of fresh air to be honest.”

Hannah is accompanied by her Manager Megan Stevens and colleague Claire Griffiths on the project, and she says that their close bond is one of the reasons why their clients are satisfied, and the initiative is such a success.

“It’s a great little group to be honest. She said: Megan has always said that she wouldn’t tell me to do something that she wouldn’t do herself, which gives you added reassurance in this line of work. She’s also really supportive.

“Claire is also really friendly, and we help each other a lot, so it’s an ideal atmosphere. We love everything about the role and really appreciate the support that The Five Lamps offer us too.

“I’d encourage anyone in the Stockton area to get in touch with us if they have an elderly relative coming back home after hospital treatment. We can arrange visits and chat with you about the services we carry out, so you can be reassured that they will be looked after.”

If you would like to find out more about the Home from Hospital team, you can contact:

  • Megan Stevens – 07591 951210

  • Hannah Hammond – 07511 071668

  • Claire Griffiths – 07739 973394

You can also email or visit their website.

*This service is only available for patients returning home from North Tees Hospital and are aged 50 years or over.

To discover more about Healthwatch Stockton-on-Tees, find them on Facebook on Twitter.

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