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Boost for patients and carers in Harrogate district

Patients and carers living in the Harrogate district will receive extra support from the NHS this year thanks to new funding provided by the Harrogate and Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The CCG has awarded five grants of £5,000 to local voluntary, charity and community groups with the aim of increasing support for people caring for other people (carers) or increasing support to help patients live independently. The grants have been awarded to:

  • Age UK Knaresborough and District
  • Age UK North Yorkshire
  • The British Red Cross
  • Carers Resource, Harrogate
  • Saint Michaels Hospice, Harrogate


Dr Alistair Ingram, a GP based in Ripon and the Clinical Chair of the CCG, said:

Supporting patients to live independently is a key aim for us as it improves their quality of life and helps reduce unnecessary hospital admissions.

Through the services we commission we strive to improve the health and wellbeing of our population as well as the respect and dignity of patients who use local services. The work that these grants will fund will help us achieve those aims.

We are very keen to work with our local voluntary and charity sector organisations as they are often best placed to support patients and carers. We were very impressed with the quality of the funding applications and we look forward to working with them in the coming months.

The projects will be completed by December 2013


Saint Michael’s Hospice, Harrogate – Saint Michael’s Volunteer Visitor Service

Enabling patients and carers to live at home with confidence, independence and dignity

Saint Michael’s Volunteer Visitor Service supports terminally ill patients and their carers within their own homes, using a carefully selected, trained and strongly supported team of volunteers.

The team provide both practical and social support to around 20 to 25 carers, giving them some time outside of their caring role and helping to relieve some of the pressures that come with caring for a loved one living with a terminal illness.

The outcome of the project is to ensure that patients have more independence and will feel more confident to live at home with respect and dignity.

Tony Collins, chief executive of Saint Michael’s Hospice, said:

We are delighted that the CCG has given us this award to support our Volunteer Visitor service, which uses a carefully selected and specially trained team of volunteers to support terminally ill patients and their carers in their own homes.

Our Volunteer Visitors provide carers with a few valuable hours respite each week by helping patients with things like shopping, attending appointments, household tasks and offering companionship.

The support of the CCG will help more local people live at home with confidence, respect and dignity.


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British Red Cross – Independent Living Support

The Independent Living Support project aims to link patients to non-medical sources of support within their communities, known as Social Prescribing, by supporting the needs of patients within the Harrogate District to help them live independently.

Harrogate Independent Living Support service offers several benefits to patients including improved health and wellbeing, improved self-esteem and confidence, access to local community activities and companionship and emotional support to alleviate loneliness and social isolation.

Harrogate Independent Living Support service is available on a short-term basis for over 18s who are registered with The Leeds Road Medical Practice and require low level support needs. The project aims to help 25 individuals over 6 months.

April Baskind, Senior Health and Social Care Business Development Manager for British Red Cross, said:

We are delighted to have been awarded this grant and the opportunity to work with Leeds Medical Road Practice on the new Social Prescribing project.


Age UK Knaresborough & District – Support at Home

The Support at Home Age UK service hopes to bridge the gaps for those who need integrated health and social care in their own homes, providing individual support packages for those with age related long term conditions (and many with dementia).

These packages include escorted transport to all appointments, social groups and shopping trips, a prescription delivery service and assistance with housework to keep things in order and prevent deterioration of living conditions or depression as things start to slip through incapacity or ill health. The service helps ensure adequate nutrition and fluid intake by preparing meals and provides companionship and social activities to prevent loneliness and isolation.

The service provides support for over 170 clients in the Knaresborough and Harrogate area with over 300 hours a week of care.

Jane Farquharson, Chief Executive Officer of Age UK Knaresborough and District, said:

We are delighted that the CCG is supporting the model that we have developed to ensure sustainability of services and self-funders contributions.

Patients need to have preventative services which help keep them out of hospital to avoid the distress caused and often lack of independence following a hospital admission which, with a simple Support at Home service, crucially over seven days of the week, could have been avoided.


Carers Resource, Harrogate – Supporting Carers through Integrated Care

The Supporting Carers through Integrated Care project means that Carers’ Resource will be able to support carers by providing helpful information, emotional support, welfare benefits application guidance and signposting to local services.

The project will link a Carer Specialist, 15 hours per week, with the Ripon Integrated Care Team to establish partnership working and a single point of contact for carers within the team ensuring that their needs are met.

The outcome of the project is to ensure that carers needs are addressed enabling them to continue to contribute to the recovery, re-ablement and on-going support of the cared-for person so that they can continue to be cared for in their own home avoiding hospital admission and readmission.

Helen Brown, Development Officer with the Carers’ Resource, said:

We are delighted to be working in partnership with the CCG and the Integrated Care Team to identify and provide support for unpaid family carers.


Age UK North Yorkshire – Social Prescribing project for Older People

The Age UK North Yorkshire’s Social Prescribing project will work with pilot GP practices in the Ripon area and centre on an in-depth assessment of older patient’s needs, and support the older person to access the help they require.

It is a means of enabling primary care services (i.e. those provided in GP practices) to refer patients with social, emotional or practical needs to a range of services, often provided by the voluntary and community sector. It will also provide a co-ordinated and improved link between the practice and the local voluntary and community sector and help to provide interventions that increase the quality of life for their patients.

Alex Bird, Chief Officer for Age UK North Yorkshire, said:

The aim is to reduce the number of lonely and socially isolated older people and promote improvements in emotional and physical well-being, and monitor reductions in prescribing and attendance at GP practices. By working together we can all make a difference to the quality of life for older people.

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