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What is the service for?

This service is designed to support hospital staff to get patients, who are medically fit for discharge, home as soon as possible thereby improving patient experience and outcomes as well as reducing bed blocking days. We do this by taking a patient centred, problem solving approach to helping patients get back safely and comfortably to their own homes.

Who is eligible for this service?

Any patient medically fit for discharge who does not have access to the support they need to make their return home as safe and comfortable as it needs to be. The service is a finite resource and is not designed to take the place of the support normally provided by family or friends, it is designed to help those patients that do not have any support networks in place.

What does the service actually deliver?


  • We will pick the patient up from hospital at a pre-arranged time, in one of our Patient Transport Vehicles (PTV’s) and transport them safely home, anywhere in South Cumbria. We also work with patients who have been transported home using the normal ambulance service.
  • Our officer will ensure that the patient’s home is a warm and welcoming place and they have everything they need to look after themselves.
  • The officer will undertake a complete holistic (Compass) assessment.
  • The officer will then agree with the patient a plan of support to ensure they are kept safe and comfortable for the first period of their convalescence.
  • The patient will be linked into all the services and support that is available, either directly through Age UK South Lakeland or any one of our Compass in Cumbria partners.

The service is not hidebound by restrictive service definitions, we are there to support and solve problems, if those problems are stopping the patient from being discharged, we want to know. If we cannot help directly, it’s likely we know someone who can. If you are aware of issues which may take a little time to resolve please contact us as soon as you know about them rather than wait until the patient is ready to go home.

NB We cannot provide Nursing or Personal care through the service.


What we need from you

  • We need as much notice as possible to enable us to arrange the pickup of patients. Preferably the day before but not later than 12:00am on the day of discharge.
  • The patient does need to be ready to leave at the agreed time, dressed in appropriate day clothes and prescription medications delivered from pharmacy.
  • The service should only be used for those patients who need post discharge support and have no family or friends to provide that support. This is a finite resource and it will serve the Hospital and Partnership Trusts much better if it is only used when appropriate.

Our Promise

We wholeheartedly respect our NHS colleagues and the fantastic work they do. We will use our every endeavour to work towards the goals of getting patients home as soon as they are medically fit for discharge and preventing re-admissions. We sincerely hope that this respect is reciprocated and when using our service, due consideration is given to the “What we need from you” section.Home from Hospital



Question: What is the latest time a patient can be collected?

Answer: This is dependent on the geographical location of the hospital and patients home address, although every effort will be made to support the patients discharge given enough notice.

Question: Is the vehicle accessible for wheelchair users?

Answer: The vehicle can carry a wheelchair in the rear, but is not equipped to carry patients who need to travel in wheelchairs.

Question: Will the patient be physically helped in and out of the vehicle?

Answer: Yes, a member of staff will be available to assist patients in and out of the vehicle.

Question: Will the patient be physically helped in to their home?

Answer: Yes. A member of staff will be available to assist patients in and out of their home, however patients must be able to move reasonably well with support and be able to negotiate any access difficulties such as flights of stairs etc.

Question: How long will the patient be supported for?

Answer: Each client is assessed individually. A Compass holistic assessment is undertaken and support tailored to their needs to help ensure the risk of re-admission to hospital is minimised.

Contact us to find out more

If you have any questions and would like to know more, please feel free to contact us and we would be happy to talk to you further.