In celebration of its 50th anniversary in 2012, Consultus pledged its support to The Silver Line, a charity that matches our own ethos by supporting those who are vulnerable.
The charity is the brainchild of Dame Esther Rantzen, journalist, TV presenter and founder of Childline, who in 2011 wrote an article for the Daily Mail in which she spoke of the loneliness she had experienced since the death of her husband. The response to her story was overwhelming, with a number of the newspaper’s readers putting pen to paper and writing to Esther personally, some expressing sympathy, others advice, but most sharing their own tales of heartbreaking isolation.
It prompted Esther to act and, within months, plans for a new helpline were in place, one which would support vulnerable older people, signposting them to services, breaking through the stigma of loneliness and isolation, and tackling the problems of abuse and neglect.
Following a series of pilot studies, in September 2013 The Silver Line was granted £5 million in funding from The Big Lottery, which enabled the charity to launch nationwide in time for Christmas 2013.
Consultus is proud of its status as a founding supporter of The Silver Line and looks forward to continuing its support as the helpline grows in stature and has a positive effect on the lives of more and more people nationwide. Many of our staff have volunteered to become a Silver Line Friend and regularly speak with people who really look forward to their call and the opportunity to have a chat.
“I founded The Silver Line to give the lonely and isolated in society somewhere to turn to at their time of need. Through my relationship with Consultus I’ve come to recognise that, at times, this might also include those that provide care for an older person, whether as part of their job, or as a family member or friend. Our helpline is available for all and is there to make a difference to the lives of as many as possible.”
Esther Rantzen, CBE
Founder and President
The Silver Line: 0800 328 8888
For nearly 50 years The Patients Association has campaigned for better access to accurate and impartial information for patients and the public, equal access to high-quality healthcare for patients, and the right for every patient to be involved in all aspects of decision-making regarding their healthcare.
In 2013 Consultus Care & Nursing became a corporate member of The Patients Association. We look forward to providing continued support to the charity as it campaigns for the rights of patients across the United Kingdom.
“Our helpline hears from 8000 patients and relatives each year and too often they are contacting us to tell us about tragically poor care received at the hands of the NHS.
“We hear from older patients tales of having been left to fend for themselves, unaided with their toileting needs. How, despite extreme discomfort, they were not given adequate pain relief. From relatives, we regularly receive phone calls expressing concern that their loved ones are not able to eat and drink in hospital. Too many of the phone calls bring us stories of appalling standards of care and the consistency of the themes show that these are not isolated incidents, but instead indicators of pockets of bad care which seem to exist the length and breadth of the country.
“We recognise that the NHS is an amazing institution and it cares for millions of people, superbly, each year. However, there is a minority that the system lets down, and The Patients Association exists to speak for those people, with our annual Patients Stories report providing a human face to the tragedy that is care without dignity.
“As a charity our work is only possible because of the support and contributions we receive from our ambassadors, individuals and corporate members such as Consultus... all of whom recognise the importance of providing dignity with care and of placing the patient at the centre of all that is done, treating them with respect and empathy. We’re delighted to be working with Consultus as we both strive to ensure the highest standards of care are met, whether in a hospital setting or at home.”
The Patients Association
At the Princess Project we aim to give a helping hand and a listening ear to mothers who are in need of a little extra support. Although there may well be services and help available, sometimes new mums feel unable to access this for all sorts of reasons. We want to be able to help them to join in with any relevant activities wherever possible, and to provide one-to-one support, mentoring and friendship. We provide a holistic package of support to mothers (and their families), addressing their physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Becoming a mum is an amazing and awesome experience. It is all too easy, though, at this time of change and new beginnings, to feel lonely, isolated and inadequate.
The Princess Project runs a number of projects to help and support parents, from coffee mornings, parenting courses and a befriending service for young mums, to providing gift boxes to new mothers and running “Totcycle” a baby goods exchange.
“The Princess Project is a wonderful organisation that really does make a difference to young mothers. As a mother, I know how important it is to be able to meet supportive people who can completely relate to your situation, and offer help and advice.Whether it is simply meeting up for a chat, discussing and sharing real worries and anxieties, or learning new skills, The Princess Project is a rock of support for mothers throughout Maidstone."
The Princess Project