JOY Sarah, CORRAL Susana, NZEGWU Femi
An evaluation of the British Red Cross Support at Home services, which provide time-limited care and support to people at a time of crisis who are finding it difficult to cope at home. Overall the research highlighted that the common area of major impact of Support at Home is the enhancement of service users’ quality of life. The support provided is characterised by a strong sense of trust by service users in the Red Cross brand alongside a compassionate, caring, non-judgemental, time-flexible and person-enabling approach. In particular, the findings show that four service user outcomes were significantly improved or increased following receipt of support. These include: improved wellbeing; increased ability to manage daily activities; increase in leisure activities; and improved coping skills. Other positive changes were also reported related to the wider benefits of the service beyond the service user outcomes alone, including enabling safe discharge, supporting carers and enabling patient advocacy. The report identifies a series of action points to help further develop the services: champion Red Cross strengths, respond to the changing profile of service users, develop active partnerships to extend reach and maximise impact, clarify the Red Cross’ position for people in need who fall outside of commissioned contracts, collect consistent and routine local and national data to inform service learning and development, develop signposting to ensure long-term impact and grow skills in order to advocate on behalf of service users.