As we always have more demand for the service than we can meet, clients will be placed on a waiting list initially according to level of need expressed in the referral. Following assessment procedures clients will be prioritised for service according to individual circumstances and need

Prioritisation will fall mainly into 4 categories:

Priority 1;- Living alone, no or few other services, no local friends/family support

Priority 2;- Living alone, receiving other services and/or local friends/family support

Priority 3;- Living with on-going support – family home, sheltered housing (minimised risk of un-noticed deterioration)

Priority 4;- Living with on-going support and other service input, e.g. Day Care, Home Care, Community Support, regular and frequent family input

The Befriending service cannot be viewed as a social club that people can join to access transport to different activities with everyone being offered the same opportunities. Some people would no doubt enjoy and benefit from getting out to activities several times a week but limits on our resources mean we must offer additional services to those with fewest other social contacts.

Assessments will take individual circumstances into account;- client choice, health issues, respite for carers, geographic isolation, etc and this will inform the decision on the service offered. As needs, or circumstance change the service will be reviewed. It is our intention to offer a weekly service where-ever possible.

An exception to this, would be our 1-2-1 service from volunteers, which by the nature of the service, is designed to be delivered by one person, as the client and volunteer build a relationship, this cannot easily be substituted. In the case of prolonged absence of a volunteer, a further assessment or alternative service may be offered.

Clients living with dementia:

Our Dementia service is designed to offer the extra support required to enable someone living with dementia to take part in normal Befriending activities and achieve the same aims as any other client: we will not take on the role of general support workers.

A number of additional issues must be taken into consideration:

  • Services will need to be more frequent to be beneficial
  • Respite and support for carers is essential to allow them to continue to care for as long as possible
  • Service must be flexible and responsive – able to meet rapidly changing circumstances
  • Service must be continuous – plans for alternative support must be in place, if allocated service is not available. Service must take priority over social groups if respite is part of care plan, or vital for carer support
  • Staff/volunteer ratios in group situations must be constantly monitored to ensure safety.
  • Volunteer supervision and risk assessment must be carried out frequently to monitor changes and additional needs.
  • Inclusion of dementia sufferers in group activities should not have a negative impact, either for these or mainstream clients.