Health Alliance online meeting — July 2023

This month’s well attended Health Alliance meeting invited Heather Noble (South Place MD) and John Rooke (North Place MD).

Heather explained that they were not NHS but were all partners from across the patch. As well as North and South Place there is Mental Health and Learning Disability, as well as Children and Maternity business units. It is an evolving landscape with a matrix of activity. The South Place covers all of Cambridge, South and East Cambs, as well as touching on Royston

The aim is to align the system so that care becomes personalised and proactive and to work with the priorities that have been agreed by the Integrated Care System (ICS). Having “what matters to me conversations” to ensure that the population voice is heard.

The voluntary sector, as well as having some representation on some ICS boards, can be actively involved at Integrated Neighbourhood (IN) level. Integrated Neighbourhoods are based around a PCN footprint. At this level there is better understanding of the population- hyper local and this can enable a reduction in health inequalities.

John explained that the North area covered Peterborough, Hunts and Fenland but due to the nature of the landscape there is some relationship with Lincolnshire and Norfolk too.

The North aim to keep vulnerable people healthy and well for longer but this applies to general population too. They are looking at where people work and live to see what can be brought to them the aim being to bring equity of access.

A broad spectrum of partners are focussing on older frail people, complex children, learning disability (ensuring good quality health checks are undertaken) and childhood immunisations.

Alliance members were then given the opportunity to ask questions.

What does it look like for the individual? Some examples were given:

  • GPs attending some faith groups to discuss issues.
  • Homeless Health bus is just about to be launched.
  • Online GP registration that can be translated.

Heather told the group about the winter wellness project where 100 people were highlighted from PCNs who were at risk during the winter. ‘What matters to me’ conversations were had with those people and support was offered where needed re heating grants etc , connecting lonely people and one person had a vacuum bought upstairs so it lessened the risk of her falling whilst carrying it up and down the stairs.

How can we optimise contact with the voluntary sector who are often the most trusted people for individuals?

There is a need to make sure the voluntary sector is meaningfully engaged at IN level. In the North Place there are good links but it’s not so good for prevention. South Place are finding capacity is a problem for organisations and some neighbourhoods are yet to be established.

It was suggested that neighbourhoods could produce a newsletter to report what is happening in each area. At present the public have little knowledge of what is happening and what is there for them.

It was suggested that the Health Alliance might want to keep an open invitation for Heather or John to attend future meetings. Heather and John both asked to be invited to meetings and would attend whenever they could.

JOY/Social Prescribers

Debbie fed back the results from JOY/Social prescriber questionnaire that was sent around and feedback from Meet Your Social Prescriber Event. There are still not many organisations signing up to JOY. There is lack of understanding of its benefits/use, some hesitancy about getting many referrals, some organisations that have signed up have heard nothing since.

Social prescribers are referring into organisations but not always appropriately. There doesn’t appear to have any follow up system (ie did the referred person make use of the service/organisation). Social prescribers often refer people in and that person has not been told of waiting lists etc and thus are disappointed if they do not get helped immediately. There is no extra funding for the extra referrals.

Sandie will write up a report and meet with a few organisations for fully case studies. There will be a repeat of the “meet your social prescriber” event later in the year.

Winter Monies planning

There has been some talk about planning ahead for this this year however John Rooke thought that there probably wouldn’t be any extra this year due to monies that had been put through the system for unplanned care.

The group thought that it would have been some stock projects that could have been picked up and ran with at short notice if this, or other funding streams became available at short notice. Sandie agreed to devise and circulate a form to gather interest and ideas.

Healthier Futures fund

Andrea Grosbois reported that there had been a fair bit of interest in this. The process will be as follows:

CCF will review the applications and make sure they are applicable- they have been regularly updating the Q&As on the website to help organisations.

The district and county councils will then make some recommendations.

There will then be a judging panel- they will be given some support in what being on a panel means. The voluntary sector will be represented on the panel.

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