Tracey Crouch MP, the government minister with responsibility for reducing loneliness in the community, has praised a Kent home care provider’s new hospital visits service during a visit to a Bluebird Care customer.
Bluebird Care launched its hospital visits service in Kent to provide companionship and support to its customers when they are in hospital, in order to reduce feelings of isolation, loneliness and anxiety.
Visits from loved one’s, friends and carers can help people to recover faster, as they lift the patient’s spirits, and reduce anxiety and stress levels. The new service, which is delivered to customers free of charge, sees Bluebird’s Care Assistants visit customers when they are in hospital during the time allocated for their scheduled visit.
Tracey Crouch said: “Loneliness and social isolation are a blight on our communities that disproportionately affect elderly people, who can suffer from poor health and reduced life expectancy as a result.
“The Government takes the issue of loneliness very seriously and I am currently looking at innovative solutions that can help to overcome this challenge. Initiatives like Bluebird Care’s hospital visits service are a fantastic example of how home care providers can play a role in reducing loneliness in our communities.”
Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch was appointed Minister for Loneliness in January 2018, to head a government-wide group with responsibility for policies to reduce loneliness and social isolation, implementing one of the main recommendations of a report by the Jo Cox Commission.
Bluebird Care supports hundreds of elderly and vulnerable people across Kent with home and live-in care services. In addition to the hospital visits initiative, the company hosts regular customer events that are delivered free of charge, giving its customers regular opportunities to socialise.
Nathan Brown, Community Liaison Manager at Bluebird Care, said: “”It was great to meet Tracey. She has a keen interest in tackling the challenge of loneliness among elderly people and she was very keen to hear about our experiences of care giving and how Bluebird Care is going the extra mile to reduce social isolation for our customers
“Our services put us in a unique position to help reduce loneliness; often our Care Assistants are the main human contact our customers have each day and as such they play an important role in reducing social isolation by helping our customers to stay connected to their community.”