WIGAN and Leigh Pensioners Link are celebrating after being awarded a three-year contract to launch a service which will help hospital patients.

The group’s Home Safe service will give support to vulnerable people to return home safely after spending time in hospital.

It will help people settle back in at home and improve their connection with the community.

Paul Roughley, manager at Wigan and Leigh Pensioners Link, said: “We have been supporting the elderly residents of Wigan Borough for the last thirty years.

"This new service is an extension to what we do, which strengthens our partnership with Wigan Council and WWL Trust for the benefit of the boroughs residents.

“Every patient we have supported to return home so far have been very appreciative of the service and so grateful for the ongoing support we offer.”

The project will be run with the help of Wigan Council’s The Deal for Adult Social Care and Wrightington Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL).

Joanne Willmott, assistant director for provider management at the council, said: “In Wigan Borough we are committed to creating a positive patient experience when leaving hospital.

"It is recognised that a good experience of discharge supports longer term recovery, rehabilitation and help people to reconnect with their community.

“This new service is an ideal opportunity to find out about people’s assets and start the process of reconnecting them with their community."

The service is also expected to reduce pressure on the NHS by allowing people to get home as soon as they can and prevent a build up of readmissions to hospital.

Pauline Law, executive director of nursing at WWL, said: “I am really delighted to be able to offer the Home Safe Service to WWL patients.

"It is of huge benefit to some of our most vulnerable patients as it supports their safe and timely discharge and helps them to settle back into their own home following a spell in hospital.

“Some patients can lose their independence very quickly whilst they are in hospital so it is extremely important to ensure that we have services such as these in place to enable that safe early discharge.

"We are very grateful to be working with the Home Safe Service and I know that our patients and their relatives and carer’s will find the service exercise useful and reassuring during times when they are feeling most vulnerable.”