The Luton Intermediate CareRehabilitation Service (LICRS) became a registered distributor of Luton Foodbank (LFB) Vouchers in November 2018.
The partnership was initiated originally by Stroke Lead Mythreyi Mahadevan who made a home visit for assessment/rehab when the patient mentioned that they had little or no food for themselves or their family. Mythreyi called the Luton foodbank to see how it worked and if they could help. LFB informed Mythreyi that there was usually a process for organisations to become registered distributors of food vouchers but on this occasion, they would be happy to help and in November the service become a registered foodbank voucher distributor.
Kim Mayoll, Senior administrator at LICRS was appointed as champion for the scheme and went to the LFB offices to meet the team. As part of the partnership, once a voucher is given to a service users, LICRS are obliged to refer the patient to other relevant organisations and services for further support.
Kim commented: “I was asked to visit the Luton Foodbank Centre to arrange access to Foodbanks for our patients if needed. I met up with the Luton Foodbank Administrator who explained the entire process. If any of our Therapists visited patients who needed emergency food supplies due to their situation we would be able to issue the patient with a food voucher which can be redeemed at one of seven distribution centres in Luton. Once the voucher is issued it is valid for seven days. Patients who eat Halal can be issued with a voucher that can be used in a local Halal butcher.
“The majority of our patients are unable to leave their homes, so if they have a relative/carer who is able to pick up the food parcel, the voucher can be annotated giving them permission to pick up the food on their behalf. In urgent cases, any of our therapists can pick up a food parcel from the York Street Distribution Centre in Luton. Up to five Foodbank vouchers are allowed per household in a rolling 12 month period”.
Service Manager Rob Peduto said: “We have recorded this as a “You Said We Did” action and have relayed all info to the rest of the team for awareness. We are proud of being able to make this link with a local charity and have shared this news with the CCG at our Quality and Contract meetings. Our Safeguarding Lead (Marion Songhurst) has highlighted this in her reports to senior managers within Virgin Care and is keen to progress these kind of links within other services Virgin Care are commissioned to provide. I would also like to congratulate Mythreyi on initiating this partnership and going the extra mile for patient-focused care”.
The Service plans to set up regular food donation boxes at their offices to donate to Luton Foodbank.
Since gaining registration for distributing vouchers the Service aided four patients in December.