What we've been up to in Neighbourhoods
An update on the Neighbourhoods Programme from Dr Aimee Henderson
In light of the recent Fuller report, City & Hackney health and care partners have been doing some stock-taking around the achievements of the Neighbourhoods Programme. The Fuller Report presents a vision around three key objectives:
- Streamlining access to care and advice for people who get ill but only use health services infrequently: providing them with much more choice about how they access care and ensuring care is always available in their community when they need it
- Providing more proactive, personalised care with support from a multidisciplinary team of professionals to people with more complex needs, including, but not limited to, those with multiple long-term conditions
- Helping people to stay well for longer as part of a more ambitious and joined-up approach to prevention.
In City and Hackney this vision was kick-started through a transformation programme in 2018. This has laid a really solid foundation to take forward the Fuller recommendations and drive our Neighbourhoods model of health and care delivery. We also have the benefit of working in a place that has a strong sense of community, a robust voluntary sector and a network of services driven by the goal of improving the lives of all the residents and addressing health inequalities.
For a resident with complex needs, Neighbourhoods means that care can be delivered closer to home, in a more timely manner, that takes their views into consideration. Bringing care professionals together in Neighbourhoods aims to prevent people (especially those with complex needs) having to repeat their story many times or being lost between gaps in services.
The Neighbourhoods Programme has delivered the reorganisation of a core group of services that now work in 8 Neighbourhoods together through multidisciplinary teams. These include community mental health services, social workers, community nurses and community pharmacy. Through the creation of the Primary Care Networks that are also structured around the 8 neighbourhoods we have gained the support of GPs and a wealth of additional roles such as Clinical Pharmacists, First Contact Practitioners, and Physician’s Associates. These practitioners are working together to meet the needs of local people by sharing expertise in local ‘multidisciplinary meetings.
Other services have also been moving towards the Neighbourhoods model of delivering services together. These include children’s services and adult home care. In addition, Long Term Conditions staff have successfully piloted virtual group consultations in Gynaecology to be rolled out to all Neighbourhoods and are initiating new pilot work in Nephrology in the coming months. We hope work here will provide a model of Neighbourhoods delivery for secondary care services too.
Supporting all of this work is the development of a City & Hackney Community Navigation system, comprising many roles (e.g. Social Prescribers and Wellbeing Practitioners) that play a crucial role in linking residents, local health/social care, and wider services that support wellbeing. This year also welcomes the introduction of a new way of bringing residents into conversations with all services through new Neighbourhood Forums (see this newsletter’s write up on our newly recruited Neighbourhood Forum Facilitators).
Neighbourhoods has also started to pilot a new programme of organisational support for staff working in this new way. This includes embedding personalisation, inclusive recruitment, coproduction, anti-racism and skills in working across and between organisations.
We are working this year to understand the impact of all this work and what needs to be done next. An external evaluator will support us to track the progress of the neighbourhoods programme and its contribution to the health & wellbeing outcomes we are working to deliver through our work.
I hope you enjoy reading more detail on some of these areas of work in this and future newsletters. If there is anything you cannot find please get in touch with us at email@example.com and someone from the Central Neighbourhood Team will get in touch.
Dr Aimée Henderson,
Clinical Lead for Neighbourhoods C&H GP Clinical Lead Sandringham Practice & MDM Chair for London Fields PCN