What is Home from Hospital? 

Working with the NHS, our Home from Hospital service offers practical and emotional support to people returning home after illness, surgery or an accident.

We believe that no one should go home alone after a stay in hospital and should always have the comfort and care they need.

As a Home from Hospital volunteer, you’ll help people get back on their feet, regain their independence and reduce the chance of being readmitted into hospital.

If English isn’t their first language, this may involve speaking to someone in their mother tongue, if you happen to have that skill.

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What is Home from Hospital services from Royal Voluntary Service


How Home from Hospital can make a difference

None of us likes the idea of spending time in hospital but for people who live alone or who have limited support, coming home from the hospital can be just as difficult. Patients who struggle to cope and can become lonely. They might not eat well due to stress and even suffer an accident, which could result in them being readmitted to hospital.

Home from Hospital volunteering allows you to get to know a patient while they are still in hospital so that you can gain a thorough understanding of their needs.

You may visit their home before they are discharged from hospital to check that everything is fit for a safe arrival home. This could include:

  • Looking for any health and safety hazards
  • Turning on the power, heating and hot water
  • Stocking up on groceries
  • Preparing a simple meal when they arrive home.

Once you’ve got to know them, you’ll take them home and help them to settle in, staying in touch regularly for a number of weeks.

Popping round for a regular visit and a cup of tea will help provide encouragement as they get better. Depending on the patient's individual support plan as a volunteer you will provide practical and emotional support to help make their recovery a little easier, including:

  • Going with them to the shops
  • Collecting prescriptions
  • Taking them to hospital/doctor’s appointments
  • Posting letters
  • Going for a walk or getting on a bus
  • Discussing healthy meal options
  • Encouraging them to drink fluids
  • Supporting patients as a bilingual or multilingual volunteer and speaking to them in their own language
  • Or anything else that helps them lead a fulfilling, independent life

Sharing even a few hours a week could make a big difference.

University of Oxford research found that our Home from Hospital service not only reduces readmission rates but also helps to significantly improve patients’ health and wellbeing.

Find out more about what you can expect
How Home from Hospital services from Royal Voluntary Service can make a difference


Helping your talent shine

We know that volunteers need all the help and support they can get.

Whether you are new to volunteering or you’ve offered your skills and talents in the past, you’ll receive a full induction and training to ensure that you know exactly what to expect.

You’ll also receive a toolkit to guide you through the process and one-to-one guidance whenever you need it.

It’s important that you gain as much from your voluntary role as the people you come into contact with. Our team of experienced Home from Hospital volunteers are here to share their knowledge and experiences, offering a few of the hints and tips they’ve learnt along the way.

Our volunteers choose to join us for many different reasons, but ultimately we hope you’re able to share your talents and skills in a way that works for you.

How Home from Hospital services from Royal Voluntary Service helps your talent shine
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"Without volunteers like Alasdair we wouldn't be able to support people who need it in our communities."
Geoff, Royal Voluntary Service
Alasdair's dedication as a volunteer driver to local services in Perth provides a life line for local older people who wouldn’t be able to get and out and about otherwise.