Menter Cwm Gwendraeth has been praised for its Twilight Service to help patients leave hospital and return to the community. A team of Bangor University researchers has hailed the hospital transport service as a beacon of good practice. The service operates from 2pm-10pm Thursday to Monday, offering free car transport home from accident and emergency departments at Prince Philip and Glangwili hospitals to vulnerable patients. Researchers have estimated that the service saves a minimum of 20 bed days per month at a saving of £363 per day. The service helps to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions by providing social care support to help people settle back at home – patients that would otherwise be admitted on to a ward without any real medical need.
As well as seeing people safely home from hospital, Twilight Service volunteers also help people settle by turning on lights and heating, making them refreshments, getting in food supplies and carrying out basic home safety checks. They also refer and signpost to other social care services, and offer a befriending role within the hospital setting. Although led by Menter Cwm Gwendraeth, the scheme has always been a partnership arrangement, the idea for the scheme being born in the Carmarthenshire Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Partnership, which brings together health and social care and third sector organisations.
David Saywell, Menter Cwm Gwendraeth Health Link Coordinator, said: “The Twilight Service has gone from strength to strength. “There is a variety of evidence to suggest that many of the service users would stay in hospital for longer than one night if they had been admitted as an inpatient. As well asthis it is the positive comments from service users that really make the difference for us.” Menter Cwm Gwendraeth director Deris Williams said: “I am delighted that we have been able to work in partnership to provide this much-needed and appreciated service.” Peter Llewellyn, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Hywel Dda Health Board, added: “This service is typical of the benefits that joint working brings to the community and this evaluation clearly outlines it’s effectiveness in supporting health and social care provision in Carmarthenshire.”
The report was commissioned by the Welsh Council for Voluntary Action and funded by the Welsh Assembly Government.