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Bridging the gap between home and hospital in Dartmouth

DARTMOUTH Caring and the NHS have appointed a new bridge worker for the Dartmouth community.

This joint appointment to help patients in local hospitals has been successful since it was set up in 2010 and continues to grow and evolve. Between 2010 and the end of September 2013 the team carried out 325 home visits and 566 hospital discharge follow ups.

Each spends half of the week on the hospital wards with the NHS and half of the week in the community with Dartmouth Caring.

The aim of the post is to help prevent people within the local community going unnecessarily into hospital. The job is shared between two health care professionals so when one of the team moved on last year a position opened up Dartmouth medical advice leaflet produced for visitors

Dartmouth Caring recruited Soo Gilroy as the new bridge worker, joining Rita Mann who has been a bridge worker with Dartmouth Caring from the beginning. They are an extension of the charity’s work in assisting individuals to maintain their independence and stay in their home environment for as long as possible.

Soo said: “The role is incredibly rewarding and challenging and as a community we are lucky to have such a unique service. We provide a ‘bridge’ between the NHS, Public Health and the charity.”

The role of the bridge worker also helps place the patients at the centre of the care they receive.

Nadine Brooks, matron at Dartmouth Hospital, said “Dartmouth Caring is an asset for us at Dartmouth and Kingswear Hospital. They provide reassurance and support to patients discharged from this hospital and ensure concerns are communicated to the services required.

“Working together assists in providing excellent quality of care. We are very fortunate as a hospital to have this remarkable service within our community of Dartmouth.”

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