Voluntary Norfolk Health Volunteers

Referral criteria for South Norfolk Health Volunteer Service

  • • Reduction in unplanned (Emergency) Hospital Admissions.
  • • Reduction in readmissions to hospital following an episode of care.
  • • Support early discharge from hospital.
  • • Reduction in admission to permanent, residential or nursing care.
  • • Reduction in in falls within the vulnerable older population.
  • • Clients and carers confident about managing their long term condition via information and support from other providers
  • • Work with people who have a long term health condition which could put them at risk of social isolation, loss of independence or increasing physical or mental illness as a result.

What the service will do

  • • Low level practical support, provide information for signposting to other services in the community, provide peer support to people with a long term condition to improve and support their health and wellbeing.
  • • Provide support to client’s who are recovering from a period of injury or ill health.
  • • Provide support to client’s who have a condition which causes social isolation as part of disease progression.
  • • Help to support client’s reading and helping with correspondence, make and keep any appointments however this support will be short term.
  • • Support clients back into the community following a period of ill health.
  • • Accompany client after period off illness to social activities.
  • • Support a person to have a healthier lifestyle for example Exercise, healthy cooking or walking/shopping together.
  • • Support to increase client’s awareness of slip, trip hazards and how to access services for example falls prevention services/ community alarm providers.
  • • One off transport, where regular transport is needed this will need to be referred to a community transport provider.

What the service will NOT do

  • • The service is not a specialist advice service, however it is expected to give information and advice about everyday routine matters e.g. contacting benefit agencies or utilities providers or signpost someone to more specialist advice.
  • • Personal care however volunteers may provide some personal assistance such as helping /encouraging someone to eat or take fluids.
  • • We will not support people with complex mental health conditions but will give advice where required.
  • • Support for an unpaid family carer in the form of a sitting service is not available , the service will refer onto Carers Matters Norfolk for assessment and support
  • • Continuous transport on a regular basis will need to be referred onto local community transport provider.
  • • The service is not a Sitting/Befriending service and referrers will need to demonstrate in a referral the outcomes listed below.

Outcomes for the service

  • • Practical support within the home environment e.g. dog walking, reading and helping with correspondence, making and keeping appointments, supporting the person to arrange home maintenance services, DIY or gardening where appropriate to do so Practical support is likely to be on a short term basis rather than a regular input e.g. if during a period of ill-health. Should this type of support be needed longer term, there is a need for onward referral to alternative support.
  • • Supporting people to return to and enjoy their hobbies following a period of ill health or encouraging the adoption of new and more suitable hobbies.
  • • Tasks to support a person to live more confidently with their health condition : this would include, for example, giving relevant information about a long term condition such as reading a leaflet on leg ulcer care; helping someone to find out about and set up medication systems, access assistive technology and community alarm support; using local knowledge about health resources/ helping someone to find local resources e.g. supporting a person newly diagnosed with a long term condition to be skilled up with what’s going on in the area; providing support and encouragement to a people to take part in a reablement or rehabilitation programme.
  • • Helping people overcome isolation and meet needs for social inclusion and friendship. This may include supporting people to identify and access other local social, community health or social care services appropriate to their needs. It may also include supporting people to engage with their local community following illness or accident including accompanying them to social activities.
  • • Tasks to support a person to have a healthier lifestyle e.g. talking about how someone could aim to do a bit more exercise; cooking or walking together, talking about the importance of alcohol free-days, support to access smoking cessation support.
  • • Being aware of and increasing the individuals awareness of reducing slips trips and falls hazards in the home; support for a person to keep themselves safer from falling in the home and when going out which might include helping someone to access other services or sources of support aimed at increasing mobility and preventing falls or signposting to the appropriate community alarm provider.
  • • Supporting a person to keep warm and well in the winter: including practical tasks like supporting someone to check that their boiler is working/arrange for service/repair, finding useful information or helping the person to access resources to help with thermal warmth in the home.
  • • Where support for an unpaid family carer in the form of a “sitting service” is needed, the service will refer on to Carers Matters Norfolk for assessment and support.
  • • Supporting people with some activities of daily living that they would otherwise find difficult to meet and where it is appropriate for a volunteer to undertake. This might include shopping and collecting money for people who are unable to do for themselves (as part of a defined care or support plan). The provider will need to ensure there is an effective and safe approach to any money handling activities in which directly supervised volunteers are involved.
  • • Supporting an individual(s) to access and use public transport. The volunteer may use their own car to transport the individual for social or recreational activities including shopping (subject to appropriate insurance) however it is expected that where transport is needed on a regular basis, referral to a community transport provider would be made.

All referrals from referrers will need to demonstrate in the referral how the client will meet the above outcomes. People wishing to access the service, either for themselves or for a friend or family member, should in the first instance contact their GP or a health professional that they see regularly in order to discuss their needs as we do not accept self-referrals to the service

The client will then be assessed to see if they meet the criteria for the service. Referrals can be made via the NCAN Referral System, social care teams, GP’s, housing authorities and some other charities/voluntary sector service providers working in the relevant fields. For further information on the referral process, please contact us.

Duration of support

Short term (up to 10 weeks ) examples include practical support to help client return home from hospital, regain independence and reintegrate into the community.

Medium Term ( up to six months ) examples include support to build a client’s confidence with dealing with a newly diagnosed long term condition which could include supporting lifestyle change such as healthy eating, exercise etc.

Longer term (Up to two years) Include regular support visit to build client confidence, engage in the community and improve lifestyle however the use of this support would only be on an exceptional basis.