An innovative, new service that connects older people and those with chronic conditions to a range of community and voluntary support throughout Belfast has been launched.
The Connected Community Care Service will provide a single point of access through which GPs and Trust social work community teams can refer people to community and voluntary groups close to their home so they can remain independent and have a good quality of life.
Funded by the Belfast Local Commissioning Group (LCG), the service has been established by the Belfast Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs). It brings together voluntary and community groups, patients, carers and healthcare professionals, who have been involved in designing the new service.
Once referred to the service, each person will be assessed by a wellbeing co-ordinator who will agree an individual, tailored plan and connect the patient with a range of local resources. Those who can be referred to the service are:
• People at high risk of developing a chronic condition
• People with existing conditions e.g. diabetes, stroke, breathing difficulties, cancer
• Older people who are socially isolated
• People with dementia, and their carers, including people waiting for an appointment at a memory clinic.
The service works with a number of partners including a range of community and voluntary organisations, GP Federations, Belfast City Council and Department of Communities.
Developed by a range of providers working in partnership, the new service shows how transformation, as set out in Delivering Together, can improve the lives of patients and service users.
Highlighting the new service, Valerie Watts, Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Board, said: “This is an excellent example of a genuine multi-agency approach which sees the development of co-ordinated relationships between health and care and local communities.
“This innovative and collaborative way of working will increase people’s control over their own lives, support them to remain independent and help them improving their overall health, wellbeing and social participation,” she said.
Danny Power, chair of Belfast Local Commissioning Group, said he was delighted to see the launch of the service.
“It demonstrates the potential of a number of partners working together with people to meet their health and wellbeing needs in a holistic way.
“An advantage of the Hub is that other initiatives can be connected with it such as the Dementia Navigator Service and the Co-ordinated Community Care programme developed by Macmillan.”
Belfast Health and Social Trust’s chairman, Peter McNaney, said the Trust is delighted to be part of the Connected Community Care collaborative.
“We are committed to continuing to work with the Integrated Care Partnerships including partners such as people using our services and their families, GP Federations, Department of Communities, Public Health Agency, Belfast City Council, community and voluntary organisations and other organisations to ensure that we deliver real improvements for local people, creating a more compassionate city.
“This innovative model starts to fulfil the vision outlined in the HSC Collective Leadership Strategy working together collaboratively and effectively across traditional boundaries,” he said.