More vulnerable elderly patients will be able to get home quicker after the King George and Queen’s Hospitals Charity secured funding from NHS Charities Together.

The money includes that raised by the late Sir Captain Tom Moore who raised more than £33m for NHS charities by walking laps of his garden.

The hospital's slice of the funding -£390,000 - will be spent on three fully-equipped ambulances, including a driver and crew member to transport elderly patients home from hospital, under the Barking, Havering, and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust Home First scheme.

HomeFirst is when an assessment for a patient’s rehab, equipment and care needs takes place in their own home, which gives a much more accurate picture of the level of support they actually require.

The scheme is run by the hospital charity's Red2Green team, which submitted the original bid.

Sir Captain Tom Moore died aged 100 on February 2. Credit: PA

Sir Captain Tom Moore died aged 100 on February 2. Credit: PA

George Wood, chairman of the King George and Queen’s Hospitals Charity, said: "What Sir Captain Tom Moore did in raising so much money for NHS charities was inspiring, so we wanted to ensure we put our share to good use.

"I can’t think of a more fitting project – supporting our elderly and vulnerable patients to get home from hospital, while also offering initiatives, such as SPARKO, to reduce social isolation and loneliness, which have been exacerbated due to the pandemic. It has also been a great opportunity to work collaboratively across our communities, such as with Age UK."

Mike Exford, Red2Green transformation facilitator at our Trust, added: "This scheme is making a huge difference to our patients, who we know would prefer to be in their own homes where possible. It also lessens their risk of potential harm, such as loss of independence, common after long hospital stays.

"Not only that, it’s improving patient flow through our hospitals and freeing up our acute therapists to focus on those patients who really need them."