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If you need a WISH you're in safe hands

Part of the work of our Wokingham Integrated Social Care and Health Team (WISH) is to assess your needs and arrange personalised support, to be discharged quickly and safely from hospital.

“We’re at the coal face, so to speak,” said Andy Barlow, a Senior Social Worker from our hospital discharge team. “We help solve the problems that stop people leaving hospital.

“This ranges from simple issues where someone with a fractured hip needs help with their personal care and preparing meals, to someone with complex health and social care needs and a chaotic background. We often have to facilitate and negotiate to find a solution involving all the family and hospital professionals to make the discharge happen.”

Andy spends a lot of time at the Royal Berkshire and Wokingham Hospitals, which he tends to cycle to for fitness and ease of parking.

“One of the individuals I’m currently working with is an elderly gentleman who’d fallen. He has dementia with short term memory loss, lives alone, with no relatives or friends visiting him.

“We’ve set up a care package with Optalis with carers visiting him three times a day, to assist with his personal care, getting dressed and heating up meals. He also has a service supporting him with managing his finances, and voluntary sector services provide a ‘home from hospital’ settle-in service and are also supporting him with befriending.

“It’s been a real privilege sitting and listening to some of the experiences he’s shared from his 94 years. The main thing is keeping him in his own home and maintaining his independence, because that’s what he wants.

“We’re facilitators at heart, weighing up lots of information from different sources, using the resources we have, to find the solution that works for our clients.

“I got into this profession to help people. I know that sounds cheesy. But I tell new recruits that our biggest resource is ourselves – the time we give and our listening ear to people going through a chaotic time, can make a big difference.”

Executive View

Cllr Parry Batth, Executive Member for Adult Social Care, Health and Wellbeing

“Our care packages can be a mixture of commissioning services for the patient, families providing informal support, or looking to the voluntary sector. Each one is different because they’re tailored to what that person needs and wants.”

More information: www.wokingham.gov.uk (search ‘care and support for adults’)