The assisted discharge service identifies adult patients who are ready to leave the hospital’s emergency department or short stay wards.
A two-man crew then accompanies the patient home in a British Red Cross vehicle and makes sure they are safe and comfortable.
Whether it’s stopping off at the shop to buy essential food and supplies, checking that the heating is switched on or contacting family members, the team ensure all the support the patient requires is in place before they leave.
As part of the scheme each patient receives a follow up call from the team the next day to check they are well.
There’s also no need for patients to wait for medication or equipment such as commodes as this can be delivered by the team later in the day.
The service, which transports patients within 10 miles of the hospital, has been funded by NHS England to help speed up discharges and ease winter pressures from January to March.
It is being run by three members of the British Red Cross: Emily Aberdeen, Christine Rix and Beth Anderson.
Service coordinator Emily said: “We are working with South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to help people leave hospital safely and at the right time.
“It’s going really well so far. We helped more than 30 patients in our first couple of weeks.”
Emily Aberdeen and Christine Rix (left to right)