President's Appeal 2019

The Dolphin Society’s core activity continues to be the provision of pendant alarms (telecare) for people who live alone and fear falling without being able to call for assistance.

We currently support 428 local people in this way, paying for the installation of pendant alarms and for their 24/7 monitoring. We will do this when people cannot afford to self-fund. We are regularly told of the peace of mind this relatively low-tech equipment brings to the client and their families.

According to the 2018 Joint Strategic Needs Assessment – Health and Wellbeing in Bristol:

Bristol’s rate of emergency admissions for injuries due to falls is significantly higher than England average

87% of falls are from private addresses

In Bristol, over the last 5 years, the rate of falls per 100,000 persons aged 80+ years has been increasing and is significantly higher than England average

20% of all older people (over 60) in Bristol are income deprived

THE LOCAL NEED INCREASES

The Home from Hospital Technician - An exciting new initiative in 2019

This special project was made possible through the extraordinary generosity of Robert Long who left the Dolphin Society a significant legacy. Please see our 2019 Appeal newsletter (PDF, 3MB) for further information on Robert, this project and the other funding made possible through our Annual Appeal.

The Dolphin Society is proud to be able to fund bespoke Home from Hospital Technician, Pete Bryant. From his well-equipped Dolphin-branded van, Pete is able to make the necessary adaptations to ensure hospital patients can return to their homes as quickly as possible. This service has considerable benefits for patients as most do not want to remain in hospital longer than necessary and want to return to familiar surroundings. For vulnerable and older people, particularly those who are frail or have cognitive problems, the longer the stay in hospital the poorer the outcome. Being in an unfamiliar environment is very disturbing and loss of muscle strength happens frighteningly quickly when someone is confined to a hospital bed.

Appeal 2019
Dolphin Society President FranK Smith with St Peter’s Hospice Deputy Director of Patient Care, Clare Barton, Home from Hospital Technician, Pete Bryant and Senior Occupational Therapist, Samantha Marshall.

Pete has been with We Care Home Improvements (formerly WE Care & Repair) for four years. His previous experiences of being self-employed carrying out repairs and full refurbishments and as Project Manager with one of Bristol’s biggest student lets companies, overseeing and undertaking conversions has proved invaluable. He can quickly identify issues and has the carpentry and plumbing skills essential for the works needed to ensure people can return to a place which is safe and warm, has space for equipment, where the infection risk is reduced and where trip hazards have been removed. It includes fitting grab rails or stair rails, installing small ramps, moving and adapting furniture, doing repairs, checking the heating, installing Dolphin alarm systems and fitting key safes.

Pete says of his work in this new role: “It is exciting to me that there are no parameters with this role, it is up to me to make it work. I have a blank canvas and an opportunity to put something together which could be around as a 'model' for years to come.

I am friendly sort of guy who gets pleasure from helping others. The customers that I now deal with are elderly, vulnerable and sometimes just down on their luck. These people need help and I get huge satisfaction from doing this. Sometimes an elderly person with no family just wants someone to talk to. I treat people how I would expect to be treated - I make them laugh and listen to what they have to say. That is satisfying.”

Pete is particularly pleased that St Peter’s Hospice will benefit from the Service alongside our local hospitals. In his father’s memory he does much fund-raising for the Hospice, largely through local DJ-ing.

Some feedback on this new fast-track Service from a Senior Community Physiotherapist:

We were met by Pete at patient’s property today when we met patient on first visit on her return from hospital. After assessing patient's ability to mobilise around the house we identified need for stair rails and Pete began fitting those during our visit. (It was) useful to discuss with him ins and outs of rail fitting there and then and liaise with the patient at the same time. So useful to all be in the same place at the same time. If Pete hadn't been there then we may have had to put in place more measures to ensure patient copes at home e.g. commode downstairs and a carer to empty this. We would also have to consider whether the patient would actually manage the stairs to get to bed in evening when tired and if downstairs living needed to be set up i.e.  bed downstairs which could have meant patient couldn't be discharged in first place.

Feedback from an Occupational Therapist:

I just wanted to feed back to you the excellent service we received yesterday from Care and Repair’s urgent service. 
Whilst at a patient's house yesterday we discovered that a rail needed removing to enable fitting of a free-standing toilet frame. Patient was for discharge today and patient needed bilateral support to get on/off the toilet.
Peter Bryant was able to come out almost immediately to remove the rail whilst we were at his property, thus facilitating fitting the fstf [toilet frame] and d/c [discharge].

and from a client:

Peter Bryant visited me yesterday to assess the possibility of installing a Bidet Shower in our bathroom for my husband with Vascular Dementia. I want to tell you how extremely helpful he was. I was most interested in his connection with The Dolphin Society and their liaison reducing costs for the NHS. As an ex nurse I am impressed! I have accepted Peter’s estimate and have ordered the appliance. Peter is an efficient and charming gentleman.

and from a grateful family member:

As I mentioned to you I wanted to drop you a line to say thanks for getting the bannister sorted for my mums house. She is really pleased with it.

You made the process really easy for me but engaging with the right people and you got it through much quicker than I thought which saved mum staying in hospital any longer than necessary

Thanks again

Please consider making a donation

By bank transfer

  • NatWest Account: 53764021
  • Sort code: 560005

Just Giving

Cheque

  • Made payable to the DOLPHIN SOCIETY and posted to Dolphin Society, Bramford House, 23 Westfield Park, Bristol BS6 6LT