Volunteers to help health workers support patients

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HEALTH workers and volunteers are set to work together to help patients in the community once their NHS treatment has ended.

The initiative has been set up by NHS Sheffield in response to calls from therapists who wanted to make sure patients had the chance to get more practical or emotional support quickly and easily once their rehabilitation was complete.

The new scheme will form part of the Community Intermediate Care Service, and will see therapists access services from local community and voluntary organisations to help their patients with daily activities once their NHS treatment has ended.

Support could include volunteers accompanying patients to the shops or on short walks to help them regain confidence, while patients suffering from isolation or loneliness could also benefit from support groups and activities in the community.

A single point of contact at the city charity Agewell and Lunch Clubs will be made available for therapists to arrange the visits.

Kath Horner, public health lead for older people at NHS Sheffield, said: “We hope this will help many vulnerable older people to receive extra support in their local community.

Senior occupational therapist Kate Lipka added: “We are really looking forward to working with Agewell to address these previously unmet and often emotional needs.”