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Home from Hospital food packs

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Home from Hospital food packs

SUPPORT is being stepped up to get patients in Dumfries and Galloway home from hospitals and ease pressures on the health and social care sector.

The region’s Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) has joined forces with the charity Food Train to ensure people of all ages have enough food for at least 24 hours after they leave hospitals in Dumfries and Stranraer.

Special Home from Hospital food packs are being issued to those needing them to ease concerns around whether they will have adequate supplies.

The project is being piloted until the end of March as part of work to support staff across the health and social care sector, which is facing unprecedented pressures due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Follow-up calls are also made to those aged 65 and over who receive the packs within 72 hours of leaving hospital. These ensure they are well and whether they would benefit from any additional support services – including shopping delivery and befriending.

Food Train regional manager Helen McAnespie said: “This partnership is about helping people to get home from hospital and putting steps in place to reduce the chances of them being readmitted.

“The fact that there’s not enough food in the house can delay some people from getting home as soon as they are well enough to. These simple packs allow them to leave, while giving a chance for them to arrange to get stocked up or secure the support they need. They can help bridge the move from NHS to social care.

“We can all see the pressures that the entire health and social care sector is under. This is a simple step that can make a practical difference in easing some of them.”

The packs – which contain dried and non-perishable foods – are paid for by Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership, with the goods collected and packed by Food Train’s volunteers, who work across the region.

Food Train is also supporting the NHS with transport home for older people who need it – another way of allowing discharge when they are well enough.

Julie White, partnership chief officer, said: “The need to provide care and support to people often doesn’t end once they leave hospital. Many people heading home will be faced with challenges around ensuring they have necessary provisions, including meals.

“At a time of very considerable pressure right across the whole of the health and social care system in Dumfries and Galloway, this initiative should help support hospital discharges and enhance the support people are receiving within our communities.”

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