Help after an accident or a hospital stay

Information about the short-term support available to help people return home safely, rebuild skills and improve mobility and confidence.

The Northumberland Home Safe Hospital Discharge team is an integrated health and social care service which supports patients who have been assessed as needing help leaving hospital. 

 The team which is based in all Northumberland hospitals includes social workers, social work support assistants, discharge nurses and occupational therapists who work together to support discharge.  

We work closely with the Homesafe service to enable them to support in the first few days after discharge to help people rebuild their confidence and rediscover their independent livings skills after a stay in hospital.  

Our Home Safe Support Team 

Reablement workers link closely with the Homesafe service to support patients in the first few days after discharge. 

The team works with patients in their home environment to ensure they have appropriate equipment and support in place after a stay in hospital.  

The team can also complete initial tasks such as emergency shopping, preparing a hot meal and putting on heating.   

The reablement workers can provide short term reablement to support the patient to complete tasks such as washing, dressing, preparing a snack/meal etc. The aim is to help rebuild skills and improve mobility and confidence. 

Our short-term support service (STSS) provides a short period of support to people in Northumberland following a serious accident or illness to help them regain their ability to carry out a range of day-to-day tasks. The service includes therapists and reablement workers.

STSS reablement workers can, where necessary, provide help to get dressed, to wash or with meals; but they will always be thinking about ways to help people to be able to do the task again themselves, either by working with them to try different ways of carrying out a task or by asking one of the therapists in the service to work with them.  
Examples of the ways we may be able to help you include:  

  • Advising about equipment you could buy which would make tasks easier, or in some cases supplying equipment from our equipment loan service.  
  • Arranging small adaptations to your home, such as “grab rails”.  
  • Teaching you techniques and demonstrating use of equipment which will help you    prepare your own meals.   
  • Helping you try different techniques for dressing and managing your personal care.  
  • Helping you practice exercises to improve your balance when walking around your home and demonstrating and helping you to practice safe ways of using mobility equipment outdoors.   


We usually work with people for just a few days, but sometimes it can be a few weeks if they would benefit from an extended programme of rehabilitation at home.  
Some people only need a single visit, for example from an occupational therapist to organise getting equipment to help them live at home.  
It is usual for the length of visits to reduce during the period we are working with people as they start to get more independent.  

You can contact us via Onecall on 01670 536400 
Or email:   
If you have speech or hearing difficulties, you can use Relay UK to contact us by dialling 018001 01670 536400 you can find more information about Relay UK here
If you, or someone you know, struggles with everyday tasks, there could be equipment that can help. 

Equipment can protect people from accidents, assist them with the everyday tasks of life and/or make it easier to provide care for them.  It can also help people to move back home from hospital. 

The range of equipment available to make life easier for people who have difficulty with daily tasks is increasing all the time.   A growing range of items are available from high street shops; others can be found in specialist shops, catalogues, or on the internet.  

Health and care professionals can give you advice about equipment, which might help you.   

You can also get impartial advice about what equipment you might find useful from: Disability North East,  

The Dene Centre,  
Castle Farm Road,  
NE3 1PH  

Phone (0191) 284 0480 for an appointment 
Text Direct 18001 0191 284 0480  

Web address  


Listings of private companies offering equipment and advice can also be found in telephone directories, such as Thompson’s or the Yellow Pages, and through using internet search engines.   

Some examples are:  

  • Argos – Mobility aids, bathing equipment, toileting  

equipment, personal aids, tables and trolleys   

The list of suppliers above is an example of where equipment can be purchased and does not mean that we recommend or have approved their products or services. 

If you have social care or health needs you can borrow, free of charge, equipment through the Joint Equipment Loans Service (JELS).  

The types of equipment JELS provide includes: 

  • Beds and chairs 
  • Bathing and showering equipment 
  • Toileting aids 
  • Hoisting and moving and handling equipment 
  • Walking aids and basic wheelchairs 
  • Pressure relief equipment 
  • Equipment specifically designed for children 
  • Equipment for visual and hearing impairments 

A variety of health and social care professionals, including occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers, care managers, district nurses and health visitors, can assess your needs and if equipment will improve your situation or that of someone you care for, they can arrange equipment from JELS. 

If you are not already in contact with a professional who can advise you, please contact Onecall to request an assessment.   
If you already have equipment loaned through JELS and need to contact them directly, you can do this by ringing 01670 730595, or you can use one of the alternative contact methods listed on the page for Onecall  our single point of access for all adult social care services. 

Who is eligible to borrow equipment? 
The service provides equipment for anyone that needs it, but this decision is made by health or social care professionals including care managers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, district nurses and health visitors. 

How long does it take to get equipment? 
JELS are open Monday to Friday 8.30am – 4pm, JELS aim to deliver standard stock items of equipment within ten working days on receipt of a routine request; five working days for urgent requests and 48 hours for emergency requests. 

However, if your assessed need is for an item of equipment that is not held as standard stock and must be ordered in it may take considerably longer than equipment delivery timeframes. 
How is equipment delivered?  
The delivery vans regularly go to all areas in Northumberland and will deliver your equipment at the first suitable opportunity.  When JELS are delivering the equipment requested for you, you will be phoned the day before the planned delivery day to make sure that you will be in. 

Using the equipment 
In most case the person who requested the equipment for you will need to visit you after it has been delivered, to set it up and show you, or your carers, how to use it safely. 

Returning the equipment 
If the equipment you have loaned through JELS is no longer needed, you can arrange for it to be collected by calling 01670 730595 or you can return it direct to JELS between 8am and 3.30pm Monday to Thursday and between 8am and 3pm on Fridays, at:

Joint Equipment Loans Service 
Northumberland County Council 
43 Colbourne Crescent 
Nelson Park Industrial Estate 
NE23 1WB 

If your assessed need is a wheelchair JELS can provide basic models of wheelchairs for short term needs.   

However, if your need is a wheelchair for long term use, more specialist wheelchair specification, postural support to the wheelchair or powered wheelchair these are all provided by through Northumbria Healthcare Trust's wheelchair service who can be contacted on 0191 282 8958. 

Wheelchair services accept referrals from healthcare professionals only, you can ask your GP or consultant to refer you to them. 

Telecare community alarms service and equipment 
Our telecare service can provide you with some additional security for your wellbeing at home. The service is available 24 hours a day 365 days a year. 

You can find out more in the Telecare section below.

Our telecare service can provide you with some additional security for your wellbeing at home. The service is available 24 hours a day 365 days a year. 

 You can be provided with telecare equipment which can detect specific events such as if you have a fall, or the presence of smoke in your home, and it will automatically raise the alarm, so appropriate assistance can be provided. 
This is in addition to the community alarm service provided for older and vulnerable people in Northumberland. 
How does it work? 
‘Intelligent’ sensors can be installed in your home which can indicate if you are in danger. You don’t need to take any action yourself for the telecare sensors to send the signal. 
The signals go to the community alarm ‘lifeline unit’ which is connected by a conventional phone socket to a call centre where a trained operator receives the signal. The operator knows whose home the signal is from and can speak to you. They will also know the telephone numbers of your carers, relatives, GP and of the emergency services. They will take appropriate action and will stay on the line to offer reassuring advice until help arrives. 
The team is made up trained call handlers and mobile wardens based in Northumberland. 
Telecare wardens, health and social care professionals can make referrals for telecare equipment. This includes care managers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, keyworkers, specialist social workers, and district nurses. You can also self-refer for the service or refer family & friends. 
If you think you would benefit from a telecare service, you can contact Telecare on 01670 827 100 or email the team via 
You can also speak to your care manager or any of the other health and social care professionals who are involved in your care.