Red Cross volunteer sits with an older lady having tea

PIVOT deliver vital services in Pembrokeshire

Published : 25/09/20 | Categories: Volunteering |

Richard Smith leads a team of eight as the British Red Cross team leader for the PIVOT service in Haverfordwest. He joined the Red Cross in 2017 and has been a part of the PIVOT project for 2 and a half years. We asked him to tell us how Coronavirus had impacted on the service, which is provided by a team of staff and volunteers.

PIVOT stands for Pembrokeshire Intermediate Voluntary Organisations Team and is a partnership between the British Red Cross, Pembrokeshire Association of Community Transport Organisations (PACTO), Royal Voluntary Service, Care & Repair and Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services (PAVS). The service started in 2013 and has so far supported 7,000 people across Pembrokeshire.

The service was developed to prevent hospital admissions, facilitate discharge arrangements and reduce support required from statutory agencies.

British Red Cross PIVOT team

Richard said: ‘PIVOT is a partnership between the British Red Cross and other organisations in Pembrokeshire. As the Red Cross, we take referrals to organise transport home from hospital, which facilitated by PACTO and delivered through a team of Royal Voluntary Service volunteer drivers.

‘We make referrals to Care & Repair to install different adaptations in the home, such as grab rails. We also have our team of Red Cross support workers: if someone is referred to us, we’ll go out and do an assessment, see what sort of support or referrals they need, and we’ll help with that. If they require low level help, such as shopping, cleaning, or picking up prescriptions, our support workers or volunteers would help to do that.

‘PIVOT has always been able to deliver prescriptions in the county of Pembrokeshire, the area we cover. Since Covid, some of our team have also signed up to support the Welsh Government prescription delivery scheme.’

The impact of coronavirus

Before coronavirus, the Red Cross team also had the support of 7 volunteers to help with domestic tasks such as shopping and light housework.

Richard said: ‘Our PIVOT volunteers are all self-isolating since the start of coronavirus so the support they would have provided has since been taken over by Red Cross staff. Any slot that was arranged for somebody prior to the crisis and anybody who has been referred to us since the crisis; – well it’s been the support workers doing the shopping and the prescription deliveries now.’

‘Home adaptations have pretty much continued as before the outbreak as we refer people to Care & Repair.

‘Transport has continued, but with reduced hours. We take the referral, organise it and contact the driver who is on call. Transport is facilitated by local Royal Voluntary Service volunteers and is usually from the local hospital to home or to continuation care beds (CCBs) in care homes.

‘If we need to do onward referrals, we’ve been doing the assessments over the phone. This requires more in-depth conversations, so we can get a good grip of what might be the best way to support the person at the other end of the line.’

You can meet some of the team and see PIVOT at work in the short video below.

Keeping in touch

Richard continued: ‘We call the people we support 2 or 3 times a week to check in. Some live with their family and there isn’t a need to call them so often. But it’s always nice to check in on them with a phone call and see if anything is needed.

‘We deliver shopping and prescriptions for those who need it. The majority of the people I’m delivering to, prefer to keep their distance and are not that keen to speak over the threshold of a door. But there are a few who are keen to talk, in which case we give them the option of a chat from a distance. Some just wave to you through the window and give you thumbs up.’

Red Cross Service Manager, Denise John, said: ‘The PIVOT service is a good example of the way the British Red Cross and partners can adapt their offer of support to individuals in difficult circumstances. The PIVOT team have continued to provide support to vulnerable people throughout Pembrokeshire, providing practical and emotional support during the Covid-19 pandemic.’

PAVS Chief Officer, Sue Leonard, said: PAVS acts as contract manager for the PIVOT service, liaising with the service commissioners, receiving and disbursing the funding, facilitating monthly project management group meetings and ensuring that the PIVOT service adapts to meet changes in demand.

‘It is pleasing to see that the PIVOT service is recognised as a key element of the recently-formed Pembrokeshire Integrated Intermediate Care Service, delivering the Third Sector Support pathway under the Discharge to Recover & Assess Framework.’

Reducing pressure on statutory services

PIVOT supports people who are at risk of admission to hospital or of having to stay in hospital for non-medical reasons and either have no means of transport to get home and/or any family or friends to support them on their return home.

The service was developed to prevent hospital admissions, facilitate discharge arrangements and reduce support required from statutory agencies.

PIVOT provides home-based low-level support for up to six weeks, including transport and settling people at home and signposting and referrals to appropriate agencies to access additional help and support including other third sector, health and statutory services. It can arrange access to a rapid response service for small adaptions within the home and home safety checks.

Case study by Helpforce Cymru. Helpforce is working with Third Sector Support Wales (WCVA and 19 CVCs), Welsh Government and other partners to develop the potential of volunteering to support health and social care services in Wales,

The Helpforce page on our website includes links to recent articles, blogs and case stories.

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