Leaving hospital in Somerset

Leaving hospital

Somerset Red Cross Home from Hospital service

The Somerset Red Cross Home from Hospital service helps people go back home after being discharged from hospital.

The service can give short-term practical and emotional support to help you get your confidence back and live independently.

This help can be:

  • taking you home from hospital and helping you settle in
  • helping you with shopping
  • collecting prescriptions and pensions
  • offering companionship

Trained volunteers from the British Red Cross provide this free, short-term service.

You can contact the Somerset Home from Hospital co-ordinator by phoning: 01823 273707 or writing to:

Home from Hospital,
British Red Cross,
Red Cross House,
Livingstone Way
Taunton TA2 6BD

For the Medical Equipment Loan service, phone: 01823 273746.

You can find more information about these services on the Red Cross website.

Aster Home from Hospital service

Aster also offers a Home from Hospital service.

If possible, someone will visit you in hospital before you are discharged, but they can come to see you at your home if you prefer, or if there isn’t enough time before you go home.

They’ll talk to you to find out what your needs are and may help you to:

  • get your home ready for when you are discharged
  • arrange minor house repairs if they’re needed
  • get a Telecare alarm free for up to six weeks
  • arrange minor adaptations to your home, for example, grab rails

Phone: 0333 400 8299

Sometimes ward staff may recommend that you talk with someone from social care about things that could support you at home before you are discharged. This will usually be if you may need help with personal care.

Equipment to aid independence

There is a wide range of equipment to aid independence that can be used in the home to make life easier.

Adaptive aids could include:

  • a stair rail
  • raised toilet seating
  • equipment to help in the bath or shower
  • daily living products to help you with eating and drinking
  • loop systems to support hearing
  • magnifiers to support reading

They allow you to continue:

  • moving around your home
  • getting in and out of a chair or bed
  • getting in and out of the bath or shower
  • preparing food and drinks
  • reading bills and correspondence
  • reaching the front door
  • carrying out parenting tasks

There are also other living aids available to support people to live as independently as possible at home. These products are often known as Telecare.

How to get daily living equipment in Somerset

Short-term loan

Equipment for short-term loan is available through the British Red Cross and is ideal if you need some equipment temporarily, for example, to try something out before you buy it.

Tel: 01823 273746
Web: www.redcross.org.uk

Buying equipment

AskSARA is a website you can use to see what equipment is available.

Visit: www.asksara.dlf.org.uk

You can buy some equipment that might help you from local shops that specialise in disability equipment. There are also some local voluntary organisations and private providers that sell equipment.

The Somerset Choices website gives lots of information about equipment available locally.

Advice and information about aids to independent living

If you would like someone from social care to talk to you about what could help you, please phone us on: 0300 123 2224.

Somerset ‘My Home, My Life’

Somerset ‘My Home, My Life’ is a partnership between Millbrook, which provides a Community Equipment Service and Aster Living which provides a Home Improvement Agency Service.

This uses a unique joined-up approach to help people live safely and independently in the home of their choice.

Community Equipment Service

Millbrook Healthcare has many years of proven experience in delivering and maintaining community equipment, wheelchairs and assistive technology.

The local service centre is in Wellington. Skilled technicians and a helpful customer service team can provide assistance with the range of equipment available and how to get it.

Independence and Advice Centres

Advice and guidance on equipment is available to support people with their daily living needs.

There is an opportunity to try out equipment and purchase items on the day, or have advice on other retail outlets offering these products.

If you are eligible for equipment from the community equipment service, an order is made so that you can collect it straight away, or it might be delivered if necessary.

If it is agreed that you need a follow up Occupational Therapy home visit, this can be arranged.

There are two Independence and Advice centres (IACs) in Somerset.

  • Millbrook Equipment and Assessment building, Chelston Business Estate, Wellington
  • Aster Living, Meadow Rise, Shepton Mallet

To book an appointment with an IAC, please phone: 0300 123 2224. Full directions will be provided with your appointment confirmation.

Somerset Home Improvement Agency

Aster Living runs the Somerset Home Improvement Agency. It is funded by Somerset County Council, district councils and NHS Somerset to help you arrange a major adaptation to your home if you need it.

For more information about the Home Improvement Agency service provided by Aster Living, phone: 0333 400 8299.

Aster Living also provides a subsidised handyperson service called ‘Handihelp’ which can help you with small repairs, maintenance and minor adaptations (not funded by the council).

They charge for this service, which is subsidised by the local authority, to keep costs reasonable. They will provide a quotation if you ask for one.

Staff also carry out free home safety checks when they visit you.

The Handihelp service is also available as a home from hospital discharge service if you need minor repairs and adaptations to your home to make sure that your move back is safe. Some parts of this service may be provided at no cost to you.

Find out more about the Handihelp service.

To book an appointment:

Phone: 0333 400 8299

Community alarm services in Somerset

Community alarm services in Somerset are available through district councils. They can provide a device that sits between your phone and its socket point, and an alert button that you wear.

By pressing the button, an alert is directed to a call centre that will respond instantly. The centre can speak to you even if you are not near the phone, but this will only happen when the button is pressed.

This can be particularly helpful and reassuring if you have recently been discharged from hospital.

The right equipment and assistive technology can make all the difference to feeling safe and getting your confidence and independence back after an illness or accident.

Visit the Somerset Choices website to find out more. Or you can phone the council on: 0300 123 2224.

Daytime care and support in Somerset

Daytime care and support in Somerset can be a made up of various activities, designed to help people who live in their own home and need help to get out and about.

Activities are often run in the community, and may be based in a local residential or nursing home or a local hall or housing scheme.

Care and support encourages and enables people to remain as independent as possible by helping them to maintain and improve their wellbeing. Many daytime activities can also allow carers to have a break.

Check with your local care homes and home care agencies to see if they run this service.

The Somerset Choices website gives lots of information about what’s going on in your community.