Patients over the age of 50, are set to benefit from a new support service that aims to make the transition from hospital to home better for them and their loved ones.

Delivered by Age UK Sunderland, the Hospital Discharge service provides additional support for patients aged 50 plus, for up to six weeks following their discharge from Sunderland Royal Hospital.

The service is completely free and aims to help those patients who have little support or those who live alone to maintain their independence at home, and ultimately prevent unnecessary readmission to hospital.

Patients are referred to the service by their healthcare workers at Sunderland Royal Hospital, if they think they need additional support with things like:


  • Shopping
  • Light housework
  • Help attending appointments
  • Collecting prescriptions
  • Companionship
  • Referrals/signposting to other Age UK Sunderland Services and other appropriate services


This additional discharge service has been made possible thanks to funding from All Together Better (ATB).

All Together Better (ATB) is an alliance of health and care partners in Sunderland who are committed to working together to improve how care is delivered in local neighbourhoods across the City. Their aim is to make sure our community services are organised well so people have a good experience of care.

Rachel Daurat, System Coordinator at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Being discharged from hospital can be daunting and many patients will need additional support during this period of readjustment.

“This new service aims to make the transition from hospital to home easier for patients and their loved ones. Age UK staff work closely with our Hospital Discharge team and ward staff to identify any patients that may need a bit of extra support when they go home from hospital.

“The service will provide hands-on practical support, with the aim of improving the patient’s quality of life, as they continue to recover in the comfort of their own home.”

Tracy Collins, Director of Age UK Sunderland, said: “We are delighted to be working closer with our partners to support people to return home safely from hospital.

“Going home after being in hospital can be a daunting and frightening experience for people who live alone or have little support. Our dedicated team will be on hand to; support people as they are discharged from hospital, support them for up to six weeks in their home, as well as making sure that the right follow up support is in place.”

Philip Foster, Managing Director of ATB, said: “This is a great example of how the Sunderland health and care system is working closely with partners to provide joined up care for patients.”

One patient who has already benefitted from the service, said: “I was struggling to move around the house and make meals. The Hospital Discharge worker rang the duty social worker and arranged a same day assessment to get more help from carers. I wouldn’t have known who to call myself.”