Stories from Hospital to a Healthier Home

“You are an angel. Thank you so much"

Read how Care & Repair has helped patients have a quick and safe hospital discharge, through the Hospital to a Healthier Home (H2HH) project.

Hundreds of patients have benefitted from Care & Repair's H2HH services. Here you can read stories of lives changed, one each from five of Wales's Heath Boards. Click the green bars below to read each story.

Mrs Taylor - Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB)

Mrs Taylor from Pontypool suffered a major stroke which resulted in her needing 24hr care. The 77-year-old’s speech and capacity were significantly impacted.

Whilst Mrs Taylor was a patient at Nevill Hall Hospital, an Occupational Therapist referred her to our Hospital to a Healthier Home (H2HH) Caseworker. This was initially to provide an additional electrical socket in her front lounge for a hospital bed, which was due to be delivered ready for discharge. A mechanical hoist had also been ordered and a care package was being arranged for 4 calls a day. Without the socket the bed installation could not take place, meaning the package of care would be lost. 

Mrs Taylor’s home was a 2-bedroom, terraced property in Pontypool. The house had no central heating, and the only forms of heating were an open coal fire in the rear lounge, two portable electric heaters, and a dangerous gas fire which needed removing.

Her daughter had moved from Cumbria to help organise the house and intended to care for her mother upon her return home. Although she had already made several arrangements herself prior to our involvement, she was feeling overwhelmed and isolated.

When the electrician visited the property to install the additional sockets in the lounge, they reported concerns to Care & Repair regarding the safety of the electrics at the property. So, our H2HH Caseworker arranged to carry out the Healthy Home Check assessment with Mrs Taylor’s daughter.Her daughter had concerns that once in place, the hospital bed would obstruct the lounge door due to the layout of the room. Upon further inspection and discussions, Monmouthshire & Torfaen Care & Repair arranged for a Contractor to remove the door and fit a curtain pole for a heavy curtain to be hung in its place.  

Arrangements were also made for the fireplace in the new bedroom to be boarded over to prevent a draught and dust from the chimney, following the removal of the dangerous gas fire. These jobs were funded via the Care & Safety at Home Grant funding.

The electrician was given approval to rewire the unsafe sockets in the kitchen and provide an additional socket for the washing machine, which was essential to ensure bedding and clothing could be washed regularly. This was funded by the Rapid Response Adaptations Programme (RRAP).    

The H2HH Caseworker talked to the daughter about advice and support available to her as a new carer. She was signposted to the Torfaen Carers Centre for support and advice via their free legal clinic, and the Support Programme for New Carers.A referral was made to South Wales Fire Service for replacement smoke alarms and fire safety advice.

A wellbeing benefits check was completed, and the Caseworker discussed disability benefits available to Mrs Taylor before arranging for her existing entitlement to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to be revised. The review resulted in her annual income increasing by £3,426.80.

The Caseworker also advised Mrs Taylor’s daughter on her entitlement to Carers Allowance. She was helped to apply for Carers Allowance, which has increased her income by £3,515.20 per annum.

The work carried out at the property enabled a safe hospital discharge for Mrs Taylor. The property is now safe, warm and free from draught, ensuring she is comfortable and at reduced risk. Her daughter can access valuable advice and support via local carers groups and now has a support network, feels well-informed and is much less isolated.

A Member of Mrs Taylor's family said, “You are an angel. Thank you so much for your help, caring and support. It’s much appreciated.”

For further information on the services provided by Stories from Hospital to a Healthier Home, please feel free to contact us or ask someone to contact us on your behalf.

Mr Jones - Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB)

Mr Jones (84 years old) lives alone and was admitted to the A&E Department at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor, after suffering a fall in his home. He has mobility issues as he has very bad arthritis. 

Prior to discharge the H2HH Caseworker received a referral from the Occupational Therapist (OT) at the A&E department for an additional banister rail, and a handrail to be fitted on the wall next to the toilet in the downstairs bathroom. The OT also noted on the referral that Mr Jones would benefit from further falls prevention advice and a Healthy Homes Check. 

This work was carried out within 48 hours by a Care & Repair handyman, (at a cost of £116) and Mr Jones was “very grateful” for the work. After the handyman visit the Caseworker called and carried out a Healthy Homes Check and a benefits check.  

It transpired that Mr Jones did already have a number of small adaptations around the house which had been previously installed by Care & Repair for his wife’s needs, but she had passed away the previous year. Mr Jones said that he was coping “fairly well” but admitted that he really missed his wife to “do the day-to-day things” and that he had been struggling for a while with only one banister rail on the stairs, but the additional rail had been “really useful and gave him extra support and confidence” using the stairs which made him feel better.

At first Mr Jones was rather reluctant to claim any benefits, so the Caseworker left him with information on Attendance Allowance and also how he could now claim the single occupancy Council Tax (as he had not thought to inform the Council that he was now living alone) to think about, and with a promise to ring him back.

On following up with Mr Jones he decided to go ahead with the benefit advice and made an Attendance Allowance claim. He also asked the local Council to re assess his council tax. This resulted in him receiving a rebate payment from the Council of £461 and then a 25% reduction in his future Council tax. His claim for Attendance Allowance took quite a while to process but was successful, and he received a “one-off sum” of £537.60 and then a £89.15 weekly payment.

For further information on the services provided by Stories from Hospital to a Healthier Home, please feel free to contact us or ask someone to contact us on your behalf.

Mr Charles - Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board (CTMUHB)

Mr Charles, 70 years old, had a nasty fall at home and was admitted to the Princess of Wales Hospital. While he recovered, it came to light that a deep clean and declutter of his property was required so that he may be discharged safely.

Our H2HH Caseworker met with the specialist cleaning company at the property, with Mr Charles’ permission. A quote of £995 was provided for a deep clean and de clutter of the property, including removal of waste, contaminated waste and a hot shampoo of carpets and furnishing. The cost was met by Care and Repair Cymru’s H2HH Decluttering Fund and Veteran Hardship Fund.

However, it was also identified that there was no hot water or heating at the property and the toilet needed replacing. A Healthy Homes Grant of £350 was secured by the Caseworker to repair Mr Charles’ boiler and provide a new toilet.

The Occupational Therapist at the hospital approached the Caseworker to request assistance with sourcing a recliner chair for Mr Charles for discharge. The Caseworker was able to raise grant funding of £795 to purchase a recliner chair that was delivered by the time of discharge. However, it was found on delivery that there was no electric socket in situ. So, a RRAP grant (Rapid Response Adaptations Programme grant) was accessed to provide a new electric socket at the property.

Mr Charles was very anxious of returning home and possibly falling again, the Caseworker therefore completed a Telecare assessment with him on the ward and arranged for our Home Safety Officer to install the system the day before his discharge.

He was discharged following completion of the above works, and the Caseworker visited him within a week at his home to complete a full assessment. She completed an application form for Attendance Allowance, which resulted in an award of the higher rate at £89.60 per week.

She also arranged for the Agency Occupational Therapist to visit Mr Charles, she has since submitted recommendations to the Local Authority for a Disabled Facilities Grant for a wet room, the Caseworker is currently assisting with this application. 

Mr Charles was still concerned about his boiler as it was very old and inefficient and unlikely that parts would be available if it broke down again. The Caseworker raised £3,000 benevolent funding from the RAF charitable fund and a new boiler system has been installed at the property.

For further information on the services provided by Stories from Hospital to a Healthier Home, please feel free to contact us or ask someone to contact us on your behalf.

Ms Richards - Hywel Dda University Health Board (HDUHB)

Ms Richards was admitted to Withybush Hospital after suffering from kidney and liver failure. The 63-year-old was referred to our H2HH Caseworker by one of the social workers in the Joint Discharge Team. 

Due to unstable living arrangements, it was agreed that the Ms Richards would move into her mother’s old property she had inherited, after it was cleared, cleaned, and made safe for her. She did not have savings and no financial information or cards with her at the hospital.

The property was emptied, and our H2HH Caseworker liaised with the patient’s ex-partner to collect their belongings from their previous property. Care & Repair funded storage of these items to speed up the process. Our Caseworker then arranged for the house to be deep cleaned and was able to secure funding for this.

The property did not have a functioning kitchen, so our H2HH Caseworker sourced some free cupboards and cabinets from Care & Repair West Wales’ Housing Association and purchased a large worktop under RRAP (Rapid Response Adaptations Programme).

A Care & Repair handyperson fitted the worktop and cupboards the same day to ensure the patient could prepare food upon discharge. A washing machine and cooker were purchased for the property from Care & Repair’s central Hardship Fund. Crockery was sourced from Frame, a local charity and Care & Repair partner.

Post-discharge, the H2HH Caseworker visited to complete a Healthy Homes Check. Care & Repair fitted various grab rails around the property. Ms Richards was referred on to Nest for a new heating system; the Fire Service for fire alarms; and a referral for an accessible wet room was made. The H2HH Caseworker also ordered aids including a commode, perching stool and a toilet raise to be delivered.

Finally, a benefits check was completed, and the H2HH Caseworker successfully applied for a council tax reduction on the Ms Richards’ behalf.  

For further information on the services provided by Stories from Hospital to a Healthier Home, please feel free to contact us or ask someone to contact us on your behalf.

Mrs Davies - Swansea Bay University Health Board (SBUHB)

Mrs Davies had a bad fall and was hospitalised. She had stitches and returned home feeling very shaken up. The H2HH Caseworker contacted Mrs Davies to discuss her needs, listen to her concerns and ensure that her return home was as safe as it could be, and hopefully ensure that a return to hospital through another fall could be avoided.  

A Healthy Home Check was completed, and it was noted that Mrs Davies’ cataracts had deteriorated a lot recently. She was due an operation, but this was cancelled because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Caseworker noted Mrs Davies is in receipt of Attendance Allowance and PC. A referral to the Priority Service Register was deemed appropriate.

Under Rapid Response Adaptations Programme (RRAP) funding various adaptations were carried out: a shower seat was supplied, a grab rail in the shower and by the toilet, and handrail for the stairs were completed.

The Caseworker had asked the handypersons to assess works, under the Essential Access Grant, for the front path which is where Mrs Davies had fallen. The handypersons reported back that the works were quite extensive but nonetheless within their capabilities.

The Caseworker held the case open until the ICF funding was available and made the application through for consideration, the application was approved, and the works were completed

For further information on the services provided by Stories from Hospital to a Healthier Home, please feel free to contact us or ask someone to contact us on your behalf.

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