Hampshire residents supported to stay Home & Well through new cross-industry scheme

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has brought together a unique set of organisations to launch Home & Well, a new scheme supporting residents in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight that enables them to return home after hospital treatment as quickly and easily as possible, and to stay well once back in their home environment. 

The remote Home & Well service helps patients register for all the support services and benefits that they qualify for and impartial advice on keeping their bills low. This includes registering for Priority Services from their electricity network operator and water supplier, so that when they return home they receive free additional support if they experience a power cut or loss of water supply, as well as a holistic review of their finances, including utility bills. The overall service acts as a single point of contact helping customers to manage their finances and maximise the benefits that utility companies offer, including bill management, energy performance advice and water tariff review. 

SSEN has led the project along with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG), Citizens Advice Hampshire, Southern Water and Portsmouth Water, all working together to deliver the new wrap around service with hospitals in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. 

Anthony Urquhart, SSEN’s Distribution Operations Director said: “At SSEN, our customers are at the heart of all we do, so we make every effort to ensure that their needs are met, both during this exceptional time of the coronavirus pandemic and in our everyday responses to severe weather events or emergency situations. By working in partnership through Home & Well, we are able to reach even more of those customers; providing them with free, additional services that reach across a broad spectrum of the utilities they use on a daily basis. 

“For anyone returning home from hospital, their recovery is their most important focus and through the Home & Well scheme, they can be assured that SSEN and our other Home & Well partners will have the additional services in place to assist them, and help alleviate any unnecessary worries they may have in relation to the power and water they need.” 

In the first phase of Home & Well’s rollout, St Mary’s Hospital Isle of Wight and Petersfield Hospital will deliver the scheme, with discussions under way at Gosport War Memorial Hospital, University Hospital Southampton and Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth to adopt the service when NHS resources are less tied in to the coronavirus response. In the meantime, the Home & Well is being offered across the whole of the NHS in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight remotely. 

Tim Cooling, Head of Strategy, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) said:  “Keeping people safe and well in their own homes following discharge from hospital is an important factor in avoiding re-admittance and is a key priority for the CCG. The Home & Well service provides a valuable wrap-around offer supporting individuals with debt advice, benefits and issues with housing and utilities.  

“Importantly, by ensuring that vulnerable people are signed up to the Priority Services Register, it means that those who need access to power and water as part of their health recovery needs are given additional support. The planned expansion of the service across Hampshire is welcome news and means that Home & Well will be able to support increasing numbers of vulnerable people who might otherwise have been at risk of having additional complications with their recovery.” 

Jenny Erwin, Director of Mental Health Transformation and Delivery, Hampshire and Isle of Wight CCGs added: “Research shows that people who experience a mental health crisis can sometimes struggle with managing their home environment. We believe the Home & Well project will be able to offer people the help they need to make sure their residence is truly a home, keeping them well and preventing their return to hospital. 

“The NHS in Hampshire recognises the importance of a secure home as part of maintaining good mental health and wellbeing. When people find themselves in hospital needing our help and services, we believe the Home & Well project can help them return more quickly to a place where they truly feel at home.” 

While customers leaving hospital - and enrolled in the Home & Well scheme - are already included in SSEN’s Priority Services Register (PSR), all eligible customers from across SSEN’s central southern England distribution area can sign up to PSR, which has been extended to those who are categorised at ‘high risk’ and ‘extremely high risk’ of severe illness from coronavirus.  

Customers are also eligible for SSEN's Priority Services Register if they:  

  • Are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Have a disability
  • Live with children under five
  • Are blind or partially sighted
  • Have a chronic illness
  • Use medical equipment/aids reliant on electricity
  • Are over 60
  • Would benefit from PSR services for any other reason, even if temporarily

SSEN produces its Priority Services Register leaflets in 11 different languages; all of which are also available to read and download from its website, by going to: www.ssen.co.uk/psr. The website will also translate every page to over 100 languages, and read 33 of them aloud; simply by clicking on the Accessibility ‘triple A’ button in the top right hand corner. 

To find out more, please go to the Priority Services Register page on our website: www.ssen.co.uk/psr, where SSEN’s multi-language PSR leaflets can also be accessed and downloaded.