Scheme aims to cut Darlington hospital stays
Vulnerable people in Darlington are being offered support in a scheme aimed at cutting hospital admissions.
It is also hoped the Prevention and Supported Hospital Discharge Scheme will help people before they go to hospital and when they return home.
Volunteers will provide support and practical help, such as shopping, preparing food and transport.
One of the aims is to help people stay in their own homes rather than going into hospital.
The scheme is being run by the British Red Cross, Darlington Council and the NHS.
British Red Cross senior service manager Val Steel said: "Sometimes it's only something very small - such as making sure someone is eating regularly - which is needed to ensure people don't have to be admitted to hospital.
"More and more people want to retain their independence and stay at home so it's great that we're able to support that.
"By preventing unnecessary hospital admissions we are also helping to save vital NHS funds."
The service is available to people aged over 18 in the Darlington area.
The Red Cross is looking for volunteers to help provide the service.