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After-hospital care for patients

31 March 09 20:17 GMT

The British Red Cross has started an initiative to support vulnerable people in Suffolk while they are in hospital and after they have returned home.

The Home from Hospital service will be run by volunteers.

The service is initially being offered to patients during their stay in the accident and emergency department at Ipswich Hospital.

The volunteers then provide company, friendship and basic support while patients recover for up to six weeks.

Mark Bradley, project development manager, said a variety of ways to help would be offered.

"Support may come in a range of different ways from a quick visit to a patient's home to turn the heating on or to stock up the fridge with food before they arrive back at home.

"They will also collect prescriptions, or cooking meals.

"Volunteers based at the hospital will help and support vulnerable patients by contacting family and friends or arranging for family to pick up children.

"They may even care for pets or simply provide a bit of companionship during what can be a very stressful time if you are alone."

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