Voluntary Action Epping Forest (VAEF) is playing a key role in a new service to support residents in Epping Forest when they are discharged from Princess Alexandra and St Margaret’s Hospitals.

Working with Rainbow Services in Harlow, through the West Essex Community Action Network (WECAN) partnership, VAEF is providing support to enable safe, speedy and sustainable discharge from inpatient hospital care.

The ‘Home From Hospital’ pilot project has been funded by the local NHS integrated care board and sees a small team of hospital-based acute prescribers, work alongside ward staff to assess patients and develop personal discharge care plans. 

This may include making home adaptations while patients are still on the ward, or ensuring hot meal provision, keysafes or care pendants are in place, at the point where the patient is discharged from hospital. 

They will then be supported by the service for up to a further six weeks, to ensure safe resettlement at home.

VAEF Community Response Hub Manager, Nick Robinson said:

“The Home From Hospital project is a great example of how the local community and voluntary sector can work with healthcare systems to both speed up hospital discharge and reduce the risk of readmissions.

"By working closely with both clinicians and patients early on, when someone enters hospital, we can begin identifying solution-focused pathways, utilising community services and resources to support recovery and wellbeing”.

The Home From Hospital service also provides volunteering opportunities for people to support others. 

For more information about the service visit: westessexcan.org/our-work/home-from-hospital/

To enquire about local volunteering roles within the service in Epping Forest, contact: volunteering@vaef.org.uk

  • Lisa Sharp is from Voluntary Action Epping Forest (VAEF.org.uk).