Improving the care that people receive outside of hospitals is a priority for the Department of Health, and we have been investigating the role faith-based organisations (FBOs) are playing in this. You can read our findings in our new report, Keeping Pressure Off Hospitals.
We found that the ways in which FBOs help to keep pressure off hospitals can be categorised into seven broad types of provision:
- Preventative or ‘upstream’ support
- More direct care that prevents people from needing to go to hospital
- Specialist services that support general health and wellbeing
- Spiritual care that supports general health and wellbeing
- Support for transfer from hospital to the community
- Professional social care
- Strategic initiatives
What would help FBOs to improve their work in this area? We think the major need is for better information and connections: between different FBOs, between FBOs and the wider voluntary sector, and between FBOs and the health and care system. We recommend:
FBOs: make the case for what you are doing; take the time to build relationships with the health and care sector; and adhere to relevant legislation and good practice.
Commissioners / the health and care system: build awareness of how FBOs operate; get to know local FBOs; and create space for faith and spirituality.