Christchurch Commissioning locality, as part of Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, has won a prestigious award for Making a Difference at the NHS Alliance Acorn Awards for their community health and wellbeing project.
The project, led by Jan Childs, Practice Manager of Stour Surgery, was a winner in the best example of a practice working with its community to improve health category at the awards ceremony, which took place on 28 November 2013 in London.
The aim of the project was to establish a Christchurch Health Network, which would strengthen links with Christchurch Borough Council, Christchurch Community Partnership and the voluntary sector, and enable feedback to the Locality Commissioning Group to improve the health and wellbeing of people who live in the locality.
Membership of the Health Network has now reached over 175 and includes local government councillors, representatives from the Health & Wellbeing Board, third sector agencies, police, patients, and carers. Outcomes from discussions with the Network included the need to:
- Provide care outside hospital for those requiring urgent social care support to avoid admission
- Improve access to primary care for isolated housebound older people
- Support people with living well with dementia
In order to meet these needs, the Christchurch Angels ‘befriending’ programme, funded by the Christchurch Locality Commissioning Group, Dorset Community Action, and Sovereign Housing, was launched in July this year. The pilot programme at Stour Surgery is to provide immediate or befriending support to vulnerable people to reduce risk of admission to hospital or care home, but also those discharged from acute care and by social services. Such support will complement the Urgent Care Collaborative Scheme and the Dementia Friendly Alliance being developed in Christchurch. A comprehensive database of community providers has also been established, and is updated monthly, for use by GPs, other clinicians and community workers.
Jan Childs said: “I’m delighted with what we’ve managed to achieve in Christchurch, and that it has been recognised through this prestigious award. My goal has been to ensure primary care becomes a partner with the wider community, and to work with the Christchurch Community Partnership and the voluntary sector to find solutions to problems that lie well outside the traditional remit of the NHS. I would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to make the Network a success.”
Rick Stern, chief executive, NHS Alliance said: “We had a lot of excellent entries for this year’s Acorn Awards. The Making a Difference Award provides the opportunity for organisations to showcase how they are breaking the mould in primary care within their communities, and for us, Stour Surgery’s entry was an outstanding example of this. I am delighted that they are able to share their work through the video they created with ITN Productions.”
Notes to editors
NHS Alliance is the leading independent voice for primary care, bringing together patients, frontline staff, providers and commissioners bound the common values of the NHS. Its core purpose is to work collaboratively to improve health care within a sustainable NHS, facilitating new and better ways of delivering services through its networks and campaigns. It welcomes patient-focused organisations and individuals of all disciplines, representing them to government and its agencies to influence policy in the interests of all its members.