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Call for ‘army of volunteers’ to join new programme to help older and frail people in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 July 2014

Dr Chris Price, from NHS Norwich CCG

Dr Chris Price, from NHS Norwich CCG

An army of volunteers will be asked to give up their time to help up to 4,000 older and frail people in Norwich who need support to help them avoid a serious health crisis.

The YourNorwich programme is being led by NHS Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Age UK Norwich, and will target NHS patients in the city who doctors and nurses say have the greatest need, based on clinical evidence.

GP practices will be asked to create registers of the most vulnerable 2pc of patients who have one of more serious health problems and who might otherwise have a serious health crisis.

Organisers said some may have physical health needs, while others might be depressed, have other mental illnesses, or be lonely, and with a little support their lives could become happier and healthier.

Health and care professionals will be able to call in the volunteer service to offer the patients intensive support for about 12 weeks, with the aim of helping them improve the way they live their lives or get over a health crisis, and keeping them at home rather than needing to go to hospital.

NHS Norwich CCG will invest at least £100,000 into the service for three years, while Age UK Norwich will contribute £40,000 from a Big Lottery Fund grant.

Dr Chris Price, from NHS Norwich CCG, said: “Volunteers play a huge and vital part in our communities. All of us are grateful for the brilliant work they do. The CCG is proud to increase our support for the voluntary sector, create this new service and help make volunteers’ work even more effective.”

Phil Wells, chief executive of Age UK Norwich, said: “We are very pleased and excited to be working with NHS Norwich CCG as it will help us target the people in the greatest need, as well as greatly increasing the resources we can direct to their support.”

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