I was invited to an event organised by the local Clinical Commissioning Group recently entitled ‘Innovative Health and Care Service’. It was hosted by the local Health and Wellbeing board to hear about plans for whole system changes that are based on new ‘care hubs’ – a model for the future. This model aims to put both health and social care in one place or ‘hub’. The main issue appeared to be the need for a central coordinator to help direct service delivery. In this case, this means directing people to ‘elderly post- admission’ and managing discharge from hospital. All sounded very promising with some very good ideas. There were about 80-90 in the audience all split off into table of 10ish.
When we went round the tables it soon became apparent that I was the only lay person…goodness knows how I got an invite as the rest of the audience were health care experts from all agencies. I can only guess it is because I am a patient at the practice group that was presenting the event, but who knows, maybe I asked to attend and I’ve forgotten -ha! But I’m very glad I was invited.
We were given a presentation on the results so far, which were encouraging, and then each table were asked to discuss 2 topics around the proposals. It very quickly became apparent that there are agencies who don’t know about each others’ existence even though they provide a service that everyone appears to need and want. I was fascinated to hear about groups and agencies in my small area which I knew nothing about.
My contribution was firstly, as always, to include the patient in any discussions as that appeared to have been missed off the list……….I also suggested that there was a need for something like a ‘Community Pack’. Each resident would have access to a community pack which would firstly give one contact name and number, but also have a list of all the activities and agencies in that area. All areas would be served by a central coordinator. and all activities and agencies would have to register with the central team in order to cascade their service. That way there would be no duplication of resources and people would know of the existence of those resources and resources would be better used. It would also be the only means of keeping accurate records. I wish I’d had a community pack when I was diagnosed, as I would have learned sooner about the support available to me when I most needed it.