The Staying Well service supports people to engage in social activities and health services in the community as a way to improve well being and reduce demand on services.
Jointly funded through Vanguard and Calderdale Council most service users are referred through Adult Health and Social Care, and NHS partners; often people who are frequent flyers of these services but don’t meet a threshold for service.
Clients may be referred because they are lonely or isolated and often present with mild to moderate health conditions.
Around half of our referrals are self referrals.
The project piloted in Oct 2014 in 4 areas of Calderdale and during the first eighteen months worked with over 1000 clients although it is estimated that through 1 to 1 support and Staying Well development of activities in the pilot areas, between 2500 and 3000 people have benefited.
Lincoln University who evaluated the pilot in 2016 said that SW service was reaching some of the most lonely and isolated in Calderdale.
Over 85% of clients reported at least one long-term condition; over half (57%) reporting two or more long-term conditions and almost a third (29%) reporting three or more long-term conditions. 27% reported that they were living with mental health problem.
Loneliness is comparable with smoking 15 cigarettes a day and lonely people are more likely to suffer from depression, high blood pressure and have a higher risk of disability. Loneliness causes a 64% increased chance of developing dementia.
In Calderdale around 12,000 aged over 65 live alone. It is estimated that 1 in 5 is mildly lonely and 1 in 10 are intensely lonely. And if trends continue, in another 15 years the number of people aged over 75 in Calderdale will reach almost 26,000.
As a preventative service Staying Well aims to address health inequalities and delay the need for hospitalisation or long term, expensive social care. We do this through health promotion, supporting self-care and community interventions.
Staying Well has raised awareness of the issue of loneliness and isolation in the community and increased knowledge of health and well being services available locally. We’re proud of the fact that just over a third of our referrals are self-referrals, or referrals that have come from the community, through groups or services like the fire service.
In Oct 2016 the Staying Well pilot was to cover the whole district. North Halifax Partnership, Halifax Opportunities Truast and Hebden Bridge Community Association manage delivery of the project across the whole of Calderdale working with a dedicated team of 8 Staying Well workers.
These Hubs provide access to a network of key people and organisations in communities and who can help identify local needs and solutions to problems. Local people are involved in designing and developing new provision. We are working with the community to develop new Hubs in Brighouse, Sowerby Bridge, Todmorden and Warley so that we can ensure that local people at the centre of how the project is delivered.
The increased volunteering, sense of community and partnership working has provided a boost to community capacity in Calderdale; the Social Economy needed to support Care Closer to Home. During the pilot an estimated 6000 opportunities were developed through Staying Well including many volunteering opportunities, both within community hub venues and in a number of existing community venues including libraries, churches and sports clubs.
Although the professional relationship with a service user can be short lived, the Staying Well presence in the community maintains contact through attending libraries, groups, GP Practices, events. This visible presence develops a strong relationship of trust with the wider community and group members feel encouraged to seek advice and assistance about various concerns.
Staying Well is about people and relationships and conversations over cups of teas. It’s about communities saying what they need and being supported to design solutions that fit locally. The Staying Well motto is: if we don’t know, we probably know someone who does, so just ask us!