PATIENTS are benefitting from a new service which helps them settle back into home life after leaving hospital.

‘Take Home and Settle’ has been launched by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust and is provided by the British Red Cross for patients at Furness General Hospital (FGH) in Barrow.

Colleagues from the service help to accompany patients home and can help with picking up medication, clothing and even some shopping.

The service, which reaches as far as Grange-over-Sands, is helping to aid quicker discharges and improve the experience that patients have when leaving hospital.

There is no charge to patients for the service which is currently set to run until the end of March 2021.

The Red Cross team members always wear the appropriate PPE and follow national guidelines on infection prevention at all times.

Tracy Ashton, discharge matron at FGH and discharge lead for UHMBT, said: “The Red Cross team can drive patients who meet the criteria home and see that they are settled in. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of families are shielding and can’t always make sure that their loved one is safely back home.

“The Red Cross team also does a follow-up call the day after the person has returned to their home to make sure that everything is ok.

“This is an important service because in Barrow we do get a lot of elderly and frail patients coming through our doors who don’t necessarily need hospital care and who are able to go home.”

Mark David Clark, service coordinator for the Red Cross team at FGH, said: “Our priority is to get patients home safely.

"A lot of patients have told us they really appreciate the service.

"They are thankful and happy to be home.

“Our service also addresses loneliness and anxiety.

"Many of the patients have been in bed in hospital worrying about Covid-19. It helps that they have someone friendly to talk to on the way home.

“We can also signpost patients to other services in the community.

"We provide them with information on support groups and places to get help if they need it.”