Salford has secured funding from the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership’s Transformation Fund to test new ways of working in Salford.
One of these new ways of working is the Wellbeing Matters Programme, part of the Population Health Plan (2017) for Salford.
Funded until March 2020, Wellbeing Matters is led by Salford CVS who are the support organisation for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector.
Wellbeing Matters includes a social prescribing approach which links statutory health and care services to the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector.
The aim is to support people to connect to local community assets to support their wellbeing and independence, reducing the need for intervention by health and care services.
Wellbeing Matters: what is it?
Wellbeing Matters is a social prescribing approach connecting patients to the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector to support wellbeing.
It is a neighbourhood model, operating across Salford with a Community Connector in each of the five health and care neighbourhoods.
The Community Connector works closely with statutory health and care services to provide additional support to patients identified as requiring non-medical help with their wellbeing. Each Community Connector has an in-depth understanding and knowledge of their neighbourhood in relation to services, groups and activities that help support people to improve wellbeing. They use this knowledge and local insight to connect people to the right support, in the right place, at the right time.
How does it work?
Initially the team will take referrals from the following sources:
- GP practice staff
- Enhanced care team
- Care Navigators
Referrals can be made for anybody who presents with a non-medical need, or who would benefit from a more holistic approach in terms of improving their health and wellbeing. The service is designed to complement traditional medical approaches and therapies. Examples could include the following:
This also includes people who are experiencing wider social issues, for example:
- Relationship issues
Upon receiving the referral the Community Connector within that neighbourhood will make contact with the person within 3 working days. Depending on the person, a face-to-face appointment will then be arranged, or a telephone conversation if this is preferred. The approach will be flexible, based on the individual. An action plan will be agreed, in terms of the individual’s health and wellbeing goals and appropriate support. Any follow up will be agreed, to again reflect the individual. Feedback will be sought from each person to review the approach and whether it met their needs. This can then be fed back to the referrer.
Referrals cannot be accepted for the following:
- A complex, multiple unmet need that would benefit more from a case management approach
- An unmet clinical need that must be addressed before looking at any non-clinical need.
It may also be appropriate to refer people into clinical services as required.
How does this link to existing wellbeing services?
The team will be working closely with existing providers who already deliver wellbeing services within their respective neighbourhood, working collaboratively on a local level to maximise resources and ensuring services are delivered smoothly.
In neighbourhoods where practices have an existing relationship with the Health Improvement Team, the Community Connector in that area will work with them to agree local working arrangements which will then be communicated to individual practices.
What are the benefits?
Timely intervention; reduced handoffs; increased feeling of connectivity with their community; increased confidence; improved mental health; increased physical activity levels; healthier life choices made; reduced feelings of lonliness and isolation; improved health and wellbeing; improved levels of self-management of long-term conditions and less reliance on health and care services.
For staff and services:
Time saved during appointments; increased options for referrals; one point of contact for the voluntary community and social enterprise sector; appropriate use of GP time through more appropriate appointment usage.
Long term, moving towards greater self-care and better self-management will lead to a reduction in GP demand.
Why is this happening?
There is a need to manage demand on clinical and acute services, and to move towards less costly interventions. This means working towards people taking control of their own health and wellbeing, moving towards early help and prevention.
The voluntary, community and social enterprise sector is ideally placed to deliver. The strength of the sector lies in its holistic, asset-based, community-embedded and personalised approaches.
The diversity, flexibility and potential for innovation within the sector means it is able to meet the needs of people that statutory provision may find harder to support.