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Pioneering Liverpool older people service saving money for the NHS shortlisted for national award

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Pioneering Liverpool older people service saving money for the NHS shortlisted for national award

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Published by Susan Littlemore for Riverside in Health and also in Care and Support, Communities, Housing

Liverpool housing association, Riverside-ECHG, a specialist in working with older people in its sheltered schemes across the region, has been shortlisted for a national care award for its temporary accommodation scheme that is increasingly saving money for the NHS.

Riverside’s Pembroke House Temporary Accommodation and Hospital Discharge Service, a joint venture between Liverpool County Council’s Healthy Homes Service and Riverside ECHG’s Merseyside Sheltered Accommodation Service, has been shortlisted by Erosh, the national consortium for older people’s housing and support, in its Innovation & Good Practice Awards.

The service, which started as a pilot programme but has now been extended for two more years as a result of funding from Liverpool County Council, provides two units of temporary accommodation for vulnerable older people for up to 16 weeks while urgent repairs or adaptations are carried out in their own homes. It provides care and support for older people who would otherwise have to remain in hospital because their homes are unfit to return to due to physical limitations.

The Pembroke House service is the first of its kind in Merseyside. In the 12 months since the service began, four older people have been temporarily housed in its accommodation while adaptations were being carried out to their homes. As a result of the service, cost savings have been made for the NHS and older people have been supported to maintain independence.

The cost of the service is less than £200 per week compared to £225 per day for a hospital admission or delayed discharge. According to the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, if the average length of stay was reduced by one day, there would be an annual saving for the NHS of approximately 35,400 bed days, which equates to £8million.1

One of the latest service users to benefit from the service, Victor, came to stay at Pembroke House as part of the temporary accommodation and hospital discharge service following a vital hip operation. Due to his private rented property being a state of disrepair, the NHS had been reluctant to carry out the operation.  Victor would not have been able to return to his own home for some time due to his restricted mobility following the surgery.

Victor was discharged from hospital two days after his operation and has recently moved back into his own home after enjoying his rehabilitation stay at Pembroke House. Occupational therapists and the Environmental Health Department were able to deal with the issues of disrepair to Victor’s permanent residency while he stayed at the Riverside centre.

Dot Kelly, Riverside’s Area Manager is overjoyed at the recognition from Erosh: “The service supports our most vulnerable residents by giving them a helping hand before they can return to their own homes.  It aims to help our older residents maintain their independence and to stop them becoming socially isolated within the community.

“We are delighted that we have been granted further funding from Liverpool City Council that will enable Riverside and our partners to continue to run the service until 2016.”

The winners of the Erosh Innovation & Good Practice Awards will be presented with their awards by Esther Rantzen, CBE on Tuesday 29 April at the Museum of London Docklands.

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