Learning from the Gwent Frailty Programme

Today, the task and finish group taking evidence for the Review of Shared Services, met with Alison Ward, Chief Executive at Torfaen County Borough Council, to learn about the Gwent Fraility Programme.  The programme’s website – ‘Happily Indepenedent’ – describes the project like this:

The Gwent Frailty Programme is looking to create an integrated model of care that is community based.

Through listening to and seeing people as individuals in the context of their life, the project aims to arrive at a model for delivery of health and social care service that:

  • Brings together professionals in each locality to make sure there is access to the right person at the time you need it;
  • Co-ordinates communication so that you have one key person who can guide you through the system and be your main point of contact;
  • Delivers the right level of response that can change according to how much support you need at any particular time;
  • Helps you remain independent;
  • Delivers care in or close to your home, and avoids unnecessary hospital admissions.

Alison’s passion and commitment for the project were obvious and there were many interesting lessons for the group to pick up for their review.  You can see Alison’s presentation below – it will be of wider interest, for those working in health and social care but also anyone involved in any ‘cross boundary’ working.  

View more presentations from Dave Mckenna.

The group’s main interest was in how the project had successfully managed to bring together five local councils and a health trust and what could be learnt from this very ambitious shared services project.  Whilst some time will be needed to digest some of the issues raised by the presentation, some of the initial success factors identified included:

  • Having a clear rationale for sharing services that focuses on better outcomes for those receiving the service
  • Engaging service users at the earliest stage
  • Involving all relevant stakeholders, such as middle managers and trade unions, early on
  • Having champions in all the affected organisations and someone whose job it is to lead the project

 These points are just a flavour of the many useful points raised.  The councillors on the task and finish group will be drawing on this evidence, along with the rest that they have collected, when they produce their final report in April.

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