A new initiative to offer additional support to patients when they are being discharged from hospital has been introduced at the trust.
The trust has teamed up with the Billingham food bank run by The Trussell Trust to help vulnerable patients who need an emergency food supply when they go home.
The trust’s volunteer co-ordinator Paul Wharton said: “We’re delighted to have formed this partnership which will benefit our patients.
“The initiative contributes directly to the care of our patients who have been in hospital for a while. These people may not have any food at home and could possibly be struggling financially. This will really help those in need once they have been discharged, especially those who may perhaps be elderly and have few relatives living locally.
“If the hospital discharge lounge staff and staff within accident and emergency identify a patient who meets the criteria and is returning home to an empty house, they will be offered a food parcel to help them over the first few days after leaving hospital.
“The food parcels contain items such as teabags, sugar, long-life milk, cereal, pasta, tinned vegetables and fruit.
“It means that they don’t have to worry that they have nothing at home and will have the basics in place to meet their nutritional needs.”
Jill Coyle, manager of the Billingham food bank run by the Trussell Trust said: “It is great to be working with our local NHS trust. This is all about helping those with a basic need and require a little extra help to support their recovery.
“It is important that this is done with the individuals’ dignity in mind and I have no doubt that this initiative will be a real success.”