The Shaping Our Future programme is founded on collaboration and integration, with all partners across health, social care and the voluntary sector committed to working together to ensure the people of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
The different organisations and volunteers are also working together to support people to help themselves and each other so that they can stay independent and well in their community, and provide services that everyone can be proud of and that reduce the cost overall to the system.
The events were the brainchild of Julie Wilson, Shaping Our Future workforce transformation facilitator, Carolyn Trevethick, community maker for Volunteer Cornwall and Stephen Jenkins, service manager for adult social care, and they said they were really pleased that it had provided opportunities for practitioners to have useful links and conversations.
Julie said: “The events have been about enabling communities to thrive. It’s almost ‘going back to the future’; think about those more traditional community values and a doctor, nurse or midwife were within the heart of the community but with access to the very best of modern medicine and health services when they absolutely need them.”
Carolyn added: “It’s about joining the dots and having those conversations so that the different services and organisations can connect with communities and each other.”
Stephen said: “We talk about Shaping our Future but the future is already here and these events show how people are responding to that.”
One result of practitioners having the opportunity to share information and knowledge is that Cornwall Hospice Care is now linking with a Wellness Café, launched by community matron Tammy Etherington, from Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, that runs at the Carnon Downs Village Hall every Wednesday from 2.30pm to 4.30pm.
She said: “The café is open to anybody who wishes to come along. We’re talking about health promotion, we’re hosting frailty clinics and it’s an opportunity for patients who would normally be housebound to socialise, meet new people, make friends and have a chat and a laugh.
“We’ve only been running a few weeks in and the group is already growing. It is about keeping people as well as possible at home, and enabling the people that don’t have much social support to come in and connect with others in the community along with getting some advice, health promotion and even treatment. This in turn could prevent hospital admissions as loneliness exacerbates illness.
Tammy said the group has already been supported by Active Plus.
During the St Austell Shaping Our Future event she had a chance to meet Ash Smith, the Merlin MS Centre’s therapy assistant and qualified personal trainer, about the support the charity can offer for people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and other long-term conditions.
Tammy added: “Because I am very part-time I don’t have an opportunity to see all the good stuff that’s going on. It’s great for me to be able to find out about the services available to the patients I see which could offer the missing link.”
Paul Reeve, business development manager for the charity Pentreath, set up for people living with mental health and emotional difficulties, said:
“What I have really loved about these specific events and believe me I do a lot of events is that I am talking to people that I don’t normally have exposure to when working in the third sector such as pharmacists. Pharmacists are great because we can share information with them, provide signposting about who to see and support people to access early interventions from us before they reach crisis point.”
Wailim Wong, from Citizens Advice (CA) Cornwall, said:
“It was a great networking event, and it’s worth remembering the CA doesn’t just deal with debt and money worries but a whole range of issues and often can provide advice and support regarding specialist organisations from local authorities, central government and of course the NHS.”