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Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Caring Neighbour initiative

Age UK Sutton is writing to inform you of the launch of our Caring Neighbour scheme which will focus on raising awareness of how to keep warm and well in winter. The aim is to inform residents aged 75+ with a Long Term Condition (LTC) of local Sutton services and support that is available for those most at risk.

According to POPPI (Projecting Older People Population Information) data in 2014 there will be 14,100 residents in Sutton over the age of 75. Evaluation of local data  between 2011/12 and 2012/13 indicates anticipated admission figures for 2013/14 of patients aged 75+ with LTCs of 1283 in quarter 3 (Oct-Dec 2013) and 1290 in quarter 4 (Jan-Mar 2014) based on admission figures from Epsom and St Helier. The implication being that approximately 30% of the older population in Sutton will be admitted to hospital over quarters three and four of which over half will have two or more long term conditions. These figures are based upon the continuance of the work that was undertaken in previous years supported with winter pressures funding which is not being afforded to the Health and Social Care economy in 2013/14.

For the Caring Neighbour Scheme to achieve successful partnership working between primary care health professionals, community pharmacists, housing, social care and the voluntary sector, your assistance is invaluable, in fact essential to the success of this pilot. Age UK requests, that ALL parties should identify potential patients who can benefit from this initiative.

As a starting point, each pharmacy in the borough will receive stock of the Age UK winter wrapped up guide with a thermometer to monitor room temperature.  Pharmacists will identify those patients age 75+ most at risk with LTCs and distribute the Age UK guide.  Marketing to health, social care and the voluntary sector will commence week commencing 16 December 2013.

Referrals can be made by telephoning 020 8770 6959
or email warmandwellinwinter@ageuksutton.org.uk;
or visit  http://www.ageuk.org.uk/sutton/news--campaigns/get-involved-with-spread-thewarmth

The intervention will include a holistic assessment, underpinned by warm and well in winter advice, followed by twice weekly reassurance phone calls for all referrals and a fast track shopping service for vulnerable patients. All patients will be triaged and connected to a range of support services to include:
-  Voluntary sector service providers for patients and carers
-  Referral to the crisis loan and grant scheme and/or food bank
-  Referral to the Sutton warm rooms scheme
-  Support with eco grant applications
-  Winter benefit checks to ease financial worries
-  Donated winter coats from the Age UK charity shop
-  Quilts to keep patients warm
-  Emergency food parcels donated by local schools and churches
-  Connecting those who are lonely to local social opportunities

Referrals to the ‘Caring Neighbour’ service can be made via the following routes: Rapid Response Team, A&E staff, Hospital Ward Managers, Hospital Discharge Teams, Social Services, Users and Carers, Community Services, Primary Care and Voluntary Agencies.

Finally, the longer term aim is to build community resilience, to encourage local residents to think about a neighbour who might need some practical support. The NHS have just launched their NHS Winter Friends campaign, this aims to get 100,000 people to sign a pledge to "take time out this winter to look in on an elderly friend or neighbour to make sure they are warm and coping well".

NHS - Winter Friends  http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/winterhealth/pages/winter-friends-pledge.aspx

This project is a marvellous opportunity to forge new relationships and build partnerships. I urge you and your organisation ‘to make a difference’ to vulnerable older people this winter by referring to and supporting the Caring Neighbour scheme. Let’s make it a success!

Kind Regards
Marion Harper


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