Solihull Together for better lives
Being ill or needing care can be frustrating and difficult – especially when it comes to getting the help and support you need. In Solihull, we want to change all that.
Over the last two years, Solihull Council, along with Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group, Solihull GPs practices and local voluntary and community sector organisations, have been working together under the banner Solihull Together for better lives to improve the local health and care system.
The aim of Solihull Together for better lives is to make sure that people living in the borough get the right care and support, in the right way, when they need it, and in the place that’s best for them. We aim to do this through ‘integrated care.’ Put simply, this means joining up health and social care services so that you can’t tell when one ends and the other starts.
It also means taking a pro-active approach to care rather than reacting when a crisis happens. So we are introducing ways to help people look after themselves. This involves providing a wide range of information, accessible by phone, internet or face to face, about how you can support yourself and your families to stay well and independent for as long as possible. And if you need it, signposting you to help and support available within your local community.
When someone does needs urgent care, which involves a stay in hospital, they should be able to leave as soon as they’re well enough. This means providing the right kind of care and support where they’ll be more comfortable, ideally in their own home or close by in their community, so they can get back to being independent again and doing what is important to them.
To make all this happen, Solihull Together for better lives partners including Solihull Council, are working on three major projects. These are:
- Solihull Community Wellbeing Service (see case study below)
- Integrated Care Service
- Urgent Care for all ages
Solihull Together for better lives Awards
Nominations are now open for the second Solihull Together for better lives awards. The awards recognise individuals and organisations who are working together to make life better for Solihull residents.
The focus of this year’s awards is on those people and organisations who provide care and support to adults in Solihull, particularly vulnerable and frail people.
There are 11 award categories including the Solihull Together award for Dementia friendly service, Care and Health Professionals of the Year and Outstanding Neighbour. Nominations are welcome from Solihull residents, family members of people living in Solihull and anyone working in Solihull.
Full details and online nomination forms are available at www.solihulltogether.co.uk The closing date for nominations is Monday 7 March.
You can find out more about all the work Solihull Together for better lives does by visiting www.solihulltogether.co.uk On the website you’ll find a short film which explains our vision for Solihull.
In July Solihull Together for better lives was awarded vanguard status for ‘Urgent & Emergency Care’ by NHS England. This award, given to only eight areas of the country, was in recognition of the good work we are doing locally to improve health and care services. As well as recognition, this status gives Solihull access to national support and resources so that we can introduce the new ways of working more quickly and more comprehensively across the borough.
Community Advice Hubs
Part of Solihull’s Community Wellbeing Service, the Community Advice Hubs bring together local voluntary organisations including DIAL, Independent Advocacy and BID Services to provide information and advice to Solihull residents of all ages. The Hubs are based at Chelmsley Wood library and The Core and are managed by Age UK Solihull on behalf of Solihull Council and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group.
Staff at the Hubs are trained to listen to people’s stories, help them identify the support they need, in whatever area of their life, and make connections with the right organisations or groups.
From April to September 2015, staff working at the two Hubs (including the telephone team) supported 4,071 people with 5,101 issues and made 2,726 referrals to specialist services. Some of the most common issues include benefits and other money concerns, health and disability, housing, legal advice, family and personal issues, transport and travel, and finding help at home.
Case Study 1: One of these people, Mr Lee Haden, is self-employed and was referred to the Hub seeking help interpreting complex letters from the Tax Office. Mr Haden said: “I’m not very good at reading so the lady here helps me with my letters and gives me advice on my business. It’s great knowing that the support is here when I need it.”
Case Study 2: Mr William “Billy” Redmond, another resident who has been making the most of the Community Advice Hub, added: “I had a private pension that I didn’t know how to access and the letters were piling up. I didn’t know what to do or where to go, but the staff at the Hub have been so efficient and sorted it for me straight away.”