UK

Post relating to the British Red Cross in the United Kingdom

Why ‘bed-blocking’ isn’t the real problem

A woman lies in a hospital bed

Many patients are fit to leave hospital – but they can’t. Why? Because the right care and support isn’t available for them at home. They find themselves trapped in hospital beds – beds that are needed for new patients.

These people are commonly known as ‘bed-blockers’ – as if they themselves are the problem.

A new report released today revealed that ‘bed-blocking’ is costing NHS England more than £800 million a year and 1.15 million lost hospital bed days.

This is an issue. But let’s be clear – it is almost always never the fault of the patient. These delays are caused by pressure on health services and a lack of investment in care services for adults.

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One very big red weekend

Mike Adamson Red Cross CEO at bake sale with Co-op staff from Malmsbury store as part of the Big Red Weekend.

A flurry of fundraising fun swept across the UK at the weekend as employees of The Co-operative Group marked this year’s Red Cross Week.

From bake sales to sponsored cycles, raffles to slime baths, Co-op staff were busy raising funds as part of our charity partnership to help tackle loneliness and social isolation across the UK.

Last month it was announced that The Co-op had already raised £1million towards this partnership – so we were excited to see what went down at Co-op stores all over the country for the Big Red Weekend.

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Celebrating nurses through the ages

First World War Red Cross nurse lights a cigarette for a patientIt’s International Nurses’ Day: let’s celebrate the fantastic nurses who helped us treat Ebola, malaria – and flirty WW1 patients.

Florence Nightingale: no gossip

Florence Nightingale rose to fame after her work during the Crimean War. Like the British Red Cross today, she believed that every sick and injured person deserves help, no matter who they are or where they are from.

“A really good nurse must needs be of the highest class of character,” she wrote in 1881. More

Home from hospital: time for change

Raymond Attrell with Anna Holecz

Raymond Attrell with British Red Cross support worker Anna Holecz.

The day you get the OK to return home after being in hospital, should be a really good day. So why are some people afraid to go home?

You’ve recovered. You should be feeling better, positive and confident that you can cope with life at home – with whatever support you have arranged.

But a report released today has revealed that’s not always the case. Vulnerable patients, often frail or elderly, are being sent home from hospital too early – afraid and with little support.

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“I will keep trying and I will break free”: One refugee artist’s long journey back to her easel

drawing of weeping eye

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” 

This famous line of Picasso’s resonates with Mays Al Ameer more than most.

Her passion for drawing, indeed her whole childhood, was cut short when her family were taken hostage in Iraq.

Now settled in Poole, she is part of a Red Cross art group designed to encourage community ties and a sense of belonging.

We meet her at an exhibition of her work at the Poole Lighthouse to hear about what brought her to the south coast, as well as her hopes for the future. More

Bringing up a baby in a car: how our asylum system is failing families

Red Cross volunteer speaks to Dilipa

Before the war life was good for Dilipa. She loves her country – the weather, the fresh produce, the lifestyle.

But after 2000, hostilities between the government and Tamil separatists increased. Life for ordinary Tamils in Sri Lanka became more and more difficult.

Members of Dilipa’s family were questioned and even tortured. They would get arrested for small things such as not having an ID card on them.

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Older couple ‘tickled pink’ by Facebook

Tom and Jean Fussell learning to use their tablet with Red Cross volunteer Jo

In this day and age you can stay connected to your nearest and dearest with the touch of button. You can Skype your cousin in Canada and WhatsApp a picture of Meera the cat to your sister. You can even share your holiday snaps with friends on Instagram.

But only if you know how.

Tom and Jean Fussell did not. The couple from Radstock, both in their eighties, felt cut off from their loved ones dotted across the globe.

They had bought a tablet in the hope they could stay in touch. But they hadn’t learnt how to use it.

“It’s all new to us. We were brought up in a different era,” Jean said.

“When we went to school we had chalk and slate and a pen you had to dip in ink.”

But with a little help from a British Red Cross volunteer, that was about to change.

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