Circles of Support

Home from hospital scheme

What does it do?

Our Circles of Support project works alongside local health and social care teams in Oxfordshire to help keep people with ongoing health needs out of hospital, smooth their passage through hospital, and ensure safe and happy discharge thereafter.

We believe that people who are helped to stay fit, know what’s on offer, have a sense of purpose and something fun to do are likely to stay active and well for longer. Through the Circles of Support project, we support people to live independently, reduce isolation, and signpost those at risk of hospital admission to their entitlements and opportunities to maintain physical and mental health at home. We also ensure that there is appropriate support around people on leaving hospital.

What we are doing

Our Community Networkers team, along with volunteers from Age UK Oxfordshire are helping to develop Circles of Support around people at risk of admission to hospital, or who have recently come out of hospital and who need help to establish activities and relationships in their local community. The Community Networkers and volunteers are embedded in six community health and social care teams around the county, working closely with their staff.

We also have a team of Care Navigators, supported by volunteers, covering hospital wards at the JR  (the Gerontology wards on level 4 and the Post Acute Unit), and at the Horton and Abingdon Hospitals. They support people and their families with information and advice, to understand their options if they have care and support needs, and to put in place the help they need so that they can go home from hospital safely as soon as they are well enough.


Who it is for?

Older people in Oxfordshire.

Where it is available?

Local service (South Oxfordshire, Vale of White Horse, West Oxfordshire, Cherwell, Oxford).

How to access or apply for it:

See contact details above

Additional information:

Circles of Support is a pilot project delivered by Age UK Oxfordshire, working with Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and Oxford University Hospitals Trust.

It is one of seven pilot projects across England awarded funding last year by the Cabinet Office and the NationalTripartite Group, and also has a grant from Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group. We have now secured further funding from the Cabinet Office and the Oxford Health Charity, which will enable the project to be extended through to the end of March 2016.

All seven pilot projects across the country are being evaluated by the Nuffield Trust; the evidence will be used to provide guidance on the most effective ways that the voluntary and community sector can support health and social care services to help people stay independent with less need for hospital admission.


Info last updated:

St Edmunds House, 39 West St Helen Street, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 5BW