Hospital parcels up support for the vulnerable
A NETWORK of organisations that distribute food parcels to people in emergency situations has been joined by Kettering General Hospital.
KGH is working in partnership with Kettering Community Unit, which runs the Foodbank initiative.
The initiative will enable hospital staff to offer additional support to some patients who are being discharged home.
Kettering Community Unit (KCU) provides food parcels to those in need via a network of local partner organisations – such as the police, Citizen’s Advice Bureau, Kettering Borough Council and the Salvation Army.
The hospital’s director of strategy and governance, Clare Culpin, said: “We are delighted we are able to work in partnership with KCU to support vulnerable patients. Working with local partners to support local people is a key part of our five-year strategy.
“When we found out about the Foodbank initiative, it fitted in well with our goals because it contributes directly to the care of our patients once they have been discharged – especially those who may perhaps be elderly and have few relatives living locally.”
Administrator of the scheme at the hospital, Liz Starsmore, said: “If our nursing staff identify a patient who is returning home to an empty house, we will ask that individual if they would like a free food parcel to help them over the first few days after leaving hospital.
“The food parcel will contain items such as milk and tea bags, soup, mashed potato, pasta, tinned vegetables and fruit.
“It means they don’t have to worry that they have nothing at home and will have the basics in place to meet their nutritional needs while other support arrangements are put in place.”
KCU chief executive Paul Jackson said: “KCU has been providing support to our community for over 30 years through free education courses, affordable furniture and now Foodbank services.
“We are delighted to partner with Kettering General Hospital in helping those people who require food support to aid their recuperation.
“It is important this is done with the individual’s dignity in mind, which both organisations feel is very important. I have no doubt that this initiative will be a real success.”
Nurses can collect the parcels direct from a storage area within the hospital, accessible for 24 hours a day and replenished weekly.
Pictured above – FOOD PARCELS INITIATIVE: From left, scheme administrator Liz Starsmore, matron Stephen Matthews, Colin Iversen (lead nurse Tissue Viability), matron Tanya Birke, matron Julie Gardiner and head of nursing Pam Smith.