Hospital support worker pilot is a huge success

Three years on, Blackpool Carers Centre’s Hospital Support Worker Pilot goes mainstream.

Although it was initially set up as a pilot project, the Hospital Support Worker funded by the Triangle Trust Development Grant, has been so successful that it has now become part of Blackpool Carers Centre's core provision.

Blackpool Carers Centre is a local independent carer support service providing emotional and practical help for carers of all ages in the borough of Blackpool.

In 2013 the Carers Centre applied for Triangle Trust funding to help set up and run a Hospital Support Pilot in Blackpool Hospital's Intermediate Care Centre. Evidence suggests that if carers can be assisted to start putting support in place before their loved ones are discharged from hospital, re-admissions are reduced.  The purpose of the pilot was to place a Hospital Support Worker from Blackpool Carers Centre in the hospital to identify carers early and support them through their stay and for up to 28 days following discharge.

Over the period of the pilot the number of referrals steadily increased as medical and nursing staff recognised the value of accessing additional support for carers.  The Hospital Support Worker helped carers understand and be involved in the decisions around the care for their loved ones and helped them navigate their way through what at times, can be a confusing system.  The pilot found that this support led to more patients being discharged on time, freeing-up beds, and resulted in a dramatic fall in the number of re-admissions.

Importantly, carers reported that they felt more empowered as a result of the service and that they valued having someone to talk to about their worries at a particularly anxious time.

This overwhelmingly positive feedback has led Blackpool Carers centre to continue the service as part of its core provision now the Triangle Trust funding has come to an end. 

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