Rebuilding confidence after a hospital stay – British Red Cross Support at Home
Promising models of care – case studies
The British Red Cross Support at Home scheme provides volunteers to support people with a minimum of two long-term conditions, through a flexible support package for up to 12 weeks.
The support can smooth the process of settling back into a routine and help people to regain their confidence and independence after a hospital admission. The service includes: rebuilding confidence, collecting prescriptions, offering companionship, and assistance with shopping.
Current users and outcomes
The scheme is not currently used in Birmingham. This data is based on the use of the scheme across the rest of the UK.
Between 2007 and 2012, over 5,000 people used the British Red Cross Support at Home scheme. Evaluation showed that it resulted in:
- less use of homecare workers, care from family or friends and general help
- reductions in falls, malnutrition and depression
- improved safe discharges from hospital, wellbeing and coping skills
- increased support for carers and sign-posting
- enhanced patient advocacy.
Estimated current financial benefits per annum
A 2013/14 evaluation of Support at Home services across the UK showed the scheme provided a range of financially quantified benefits to the private individual (such as savings to the individual as a result of less use of family and friends). However, we used only the financial quantified benefits to the health and care systems.
This was calculated on the following savings per person per year:
- £250 savings to adult social care as a result of less use of publicly-funded homecare workers
- £454 savings to the health care system as a result of fewer falls, instances of malnutrition and depression.
The scheme is estimated to cost £254 per person per year.
For the evaluation cohort of 52 people per year, the British Red Cross Support at Home Scheme:
- costs approximately£13,000
- saves adult social care approximately £13,000
- saves the health service approximately £24,000.
Potential benefits to Birmingham
Approximately 45,220 older people in Birmingham are very limited in their day-today activities. If British Red Cross volunteers supported 3% of them (c1,360), and assuming the same benefits could be achieved as outlined above, the scheme would have the following implications for Birmingham:
£167,000 in net savings to adult social care (£339,000 gross savings)
£444,000 in net savings to the health system (£616,000 gross savings)
This assumes that the costs of the scheme (£345,000) are split equally between the local authority and the CCG.
Volunteers would need to be recruited and trained to implement the scheme.
This scheme is estimated to provide financialbenefits to both the local authority and the CCG, assuming the costs of providing the scheme are shared between the two. Therefore, any implementation should consider the need for joint funding.