Support Hub overview

“We are here to reduce the stress for patients in times of already great worry and uncertainty, while supporting staff of the Royal Free London hospitals to support their patients,” says Liz Fowler, Support Hub lead. Here she explains more about the team’s work.

The Support Hub at the Royal Free Hospital provides information and support to patients with long- term health conditions and their carers. At the core of it is the welfare benefit advice service, with a team of three advisors supporting people with the practical aspects of life.

Things our advisers support with:

  • Listening and empathising with people’s individual situations, establishing how they can help
  • Finances: assessing individual benefit entitlement and helping with applications as well as helping with mandatory reconsiderations and appeals when needed
  • Housing issues: advocating on behalf of patients to local authorities; helping to secure appropriate housing for people; often supporting people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness (and in many cases preventing that from happening)
  • Debt issues: referring people into specialised charities and organisations to get the support they need
  • Connecting with GPs and mental health services to support patients, where people need that extra support.

We recently sent an online feedback survey to previous support hub clients, and the results were really positive. Top line figures included:

  • Over 90% ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the support they received
  • 77% felt their general wellbeing had improved following the support they received
  • 64% felt it had a positive impact on their physical health
  • 77% felt less stressed about their financial situation
  • 66% said it empowered them to go through a similar process themselves in future.

Quotes from patients included:

  • “She was so kind and understanding and didn’t make me feel like I was just another case.”
  • “My wife’s hub support person has been an absolute rock for us. She has succeeded in obtaining support and equipment from our council, where our pleas fell on deaf ears”.
  • “Emotionally and physically exhausted attempting on one’s own especially when you’re not up to it.”

 

What matters to you most at the moment?

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Our staff continue their great work from home, doing all patient appointments over the phone. We hope to re-open soon, when it is safe to do so.

Any questions or feedback please email Liz at [email protected]nhs.net