This is the full version of the article which appears in Insider 22
The Support Hub at the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead opened in March 2018. It is the first of its kind in the UK based in a hospital. The Hub was co-produced by patients and carers as well as the Support Hub team and their volunteers. All decisions including the design of the centre, activities and services continues to be steered by this group. Its main purpose is to support patients with long term health conditions including their carers with welfare and benefit advice, exercise classes in the gym, informative talks, as well as a range of therapies and activities. The hub also runs a drop-in service, where patients can relax in the beautifully designed space, have a cup of tea and a chat with the charity’s trained volunteers, who can provide information on the services on offer. Anybody affected by a Long term condition such as arthritis, liver disease, heart disease and chronic pain can use the the Hub. It’s also common for poor mental health to be linked to patients with multiple long term health conditions especially once they reach over 60, and they can often be supported by the Hub by offering a listening ear and to meet other people with similar conditions.
People affected by Long term health conditions can also be affected financially, and the Support Hub can support people who need some advice. The Support Hub understands the impact of loneliness on long term health conditions so it is high on their agenda to offer support and care. They generally receive 100 visitors per week and up to 120 per week when exercise classes are planned. The Support Hub ethos is that if their users can leave feeling happier more in control of their situation and less lonely, they have succeeded.
A further new Support Hub is planned for Barnet to launch in Spring/Summer 2019. It will be located close to the High Street in High Barnet, making it more accessible by public transport, giving access to more patients and carers in the borough as well as offering more community links. If you are patient or a carer of of someone with a Long term condition having treatment at the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust, you can access the service. For further information contact the Support Hub on 02077940500 ext 39663
See also the Support Hub web page at https://www.royalfreecharity.org/do/support-hub.