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Couple thank British Red Cross for help after hospital stay

6 August 2012

A Redditch couple have thanked the British Red Cross for its support after a stay in hospital.

Jim and Doris Callender, both 79 and from Batchley, Redditch, credit their home from hospital volunteer Brenda Jauncey with helping them maintain a normal life after Jim had to undergo a hip replacement at BMI Droitwich Spa Hotel in May.

Jim’s absence from the family home meant his wife Doris struggled to do the shopping and get out and about. This is because Doris has her own medical conditions, most notably an inoperable brain tumour, which has forced her to give up driving. Breathing difficulties also make it hard for Doris to catch public transport.

She is therefore reliant on her husband of 54-years to take her to appointments, into town and to the shops. Doris heard about the Red Cross supporting people in their homes and got in touch with the charity asking for help. After an initial chat the couple were assigned home from hospital volunteer Brenda.

When Jim got back from hospital Brenda was on hand to help Doris get out and about. She drove her to the supermarket and helped with the shopping.

“The Red Cross have been fantastic to us,” said Doris. “Jim could not drive for eight weeks, so Brenda taking me shopping meant I did not have to struggle to the buses.”

The Red Cross has been running a home from hospital service in Worcestershire for 23 years. It is available in all seven hospitals and rehabilitation units across the county, including the Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester and the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.  
The service supports people for four to six weeks following their discharge and volunteers usually visit people once or twice a week, helping them settle back into their homes after a stay in hospital.

Richard Kirkup, Red Cross senior service manager, said: “While many of the people we work with live alone, Jim and Doris’s situation will be familiar to many older couples and illustrates how Red Cross services in the UK support informal carers as well as alleviating the pressures on NHS hospital bed spaces. 

“The generosity of time and civic spirit of volunteers such as Brenda, enables people to return home from hospital earlier and reduces the likelihood of them being readmitted to hospital. In tough financial times the home from hospital service provides a cost effective solution to bed blocking in the NHS and improves the resilience and well-being of some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.” 

To find out more about the Red Cross visit redcross.org.uk/careinthehome 

ENDS

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