Oldham pensioner’s thanks for social support

An Oldham pensioner has thanked a new health and social care partnership for helping him improve his quality of life.

Graham Williams, 78, has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease which has led to regular trips to hospital.

He had also become socially isolated following the death of his mother several years ago and hospital staff recognised he would benefit from some extra support.

Graham was seen by the Oldham Rapid Community Assessment Team (ORCAT) and agreed to support from Age UK Oldham, who are part of ORCAT.

ORCAT works closely with colleagues at The Royal Oldham Hospital, including those in the A&E department, to react quickly and prevent people from being admitted to hospital if they can be supported at home with the right professional help.

The service was established by the Oldham Urgent Care Alliance, a partnership of 10 health, care and voluntary sector organisations developed to improve outcomes for local people by enhancing current service provision.

Donna Speat from Age UK Oldham arranged for Graham to attend luncheon clubs and other activities to socialise with others.

She said: “We’ve been working with Graham for about six months now and I’m delighted to see how much he’s enjoyed having some company.”

Graham added: “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I feel very close to all the staff.”

Vicki Elcock, ORCAT Manager at Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It’s fantastic that we’ve been able to help Graham not only improve his health but also start to take part in more social activities.

“There’s a clear link between social interaction and wellbeing and it’s something we’re proud to support with ORCAT.

“Our service helps to get people out of hospital by putting support in place at home to give them the best possible quality of life.”

Once at home, the team takes a partnership approach to assessment and care planning to understand what level of support the individual may need to live as safely and independently as possible.

Find out more about ORCAT at www.penninecare.nhs.uk/ORCAT

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