Learning in Action Collaborative Event: update

We mentioned this Public Health Wales / WCVA initiative in our last Newsletter – here’s an update from their inaugural event. Representatives from the five projects were there in all their co-produced and innovative glory, Ruth provided a context overview, as did Bob Rhodes from LifeWithFriends, Brian Collis explained the collaborative methodology and the session was graphically recorded by Fran O’Hara. But the main delight of the day, even better than the cakes, was the projects themselves. Here they are…

Delight number 1: the Llynfi Valley 20 Programme
People living in the Llynfi Valley have, on average, 20 years less healthy life expectancy than those in other parts of the borough.  We’re aiming to address these health inequalities through a joined up programme of change and community development that is asset based and community driven. We’re focusing on two key areas:

  • Service improvements: working across agencies to maximise the role and contribution of those providing care and resources to promote wellbeing
  • Facilities: making better use of, and improving access to, existing resources.

For more information, contact katekinsman@bavo.org.uk

Delight number 2: Powys Carers Service
The care givers that PCS supports are doing important and rewarding work, however this is often to to the detriment of their own health and wellbeing. Research shows that carers are 40% more likely to suffer from a chronic health condition, and young people can miss out on opportunities to go to school, spend time with friends, have a job or further their studies. They can experience high levels of stress and worry and are less likely to make healthy lifestyle choices.
Our project is focused on supporting people to have more control over their caring roles and over their own lives. We will co-design and co-produce a listening campaign using Sense Maker Software. We have free access to this sophisticated software as part of a Small Countries Big Ideas initiative being developed in conjunction with the Wales Audit Office. Then we’ll co-design an action plan with carers and other stakeholders that responds to the data analysis and optimises wellbeing and life chances of carers.
For more information, contact ceojenny@powyscarers.org.uk

Delight number 3: From Isolation to Integration (RCT Interlink)
Lots of older people, growing demand, fewer services, public funding cuts… we wondered how we could involve older people in finding out how we make things better.Older people are incredible assets within our community – providing money, time, care, activities, etc – we wanted to fully acknowledge their skills and experience rather than categorising older people as frail and elderly, as a drain on resources. We’ll do that in two ways:

  • Listening to older people who are isolated. Members of the community, 50+ Forums, older people’s groups, third sector and health providers will train together as ethnographers, undertaking a listening campaign throughout RCT with people who are isolated. They’ll collect their personal stories, and undertake an analysis of how isolated people are assets themselves, developing an understanding of their needs and interests. We hope to enable older people to shape the support they need on their own terms, take control and be independent. This includes a train the trainer approach to develop a sustainable programme.
  • Independent analysis of services that reduce isolation and support the prevention/early intervention agenda and services related to hospital discharge. Considerable value will be added to this work through working with ethnographers with an accompanying evidence-based analysis of the different services that organisations offer, identifying opportunities to link services together and lessen unnecessary duplication.

For more information, contact sjames@interlinkrct.org.uk

Delight number 4: Pioneering a new approach for Deaf People with Mental Health Problems
A review of evidence published in the Lancet in March 2012 concluded that deaf people are twice as likely to have mental health problems as people in the general population. Deaf people also have greater difficulty accessing mental health care and the quality of the care that they receive tends to be lower. There is also a plethora of evidence that people with sensory loss experience barriers to communication and information when they need healthcare.
Working in the Cwm Taf area, we hope to reduce the impact and prevalence of poor mental health among deaf people by:

  • Improving access to primary healthcare services, information and advice and advocacy and peer support;
  • Developing the awareness of Deaf people to help improve their confidence, reduce isolation and enable them to self manage their mental health and wellbeing;
  • Developing the capacity and confidence of primary and community mental health service providers (statutory and third sector) to enable them to communicate effectively with Deaf people;
  • Promoting early intervention, diagnosis and support to keep Deaf people who are living with mental health issues well in their communities;
  • Developing information and support that is accessible to Deaf people and enables them to make informed choices.

For more information, contact Tracey.Good@wales.nhs.uk

Delight number 5: Building Communities Seiriol Project
The creation of the Joint Local Service Board between Anglesey and Gwynedd and the Transformation work streams in Ynys Môn Council has led to a greater emphasis oncreating more effective and efficient services through the principles of co-production. The need to work more closely with communities has become a guiding principle, looking at ways in which partners could address needs through sharing resources, skills and knowledge.
Our Project aims to develop a co-production project, and process, which will enable partner organisations to work together with the people living in the Seiriol Ward to live the lives that they want& to address the imbalance between user and provider. We will:

  • Prioritise open and transparent discussions between communities and service providers
  • Rebalance relationships to create equal partnerships
  • Recognise that communities are the experts in identifying what is important to them and build their knowledge, skills and confidence to engage in and record those priorities
  • Create a structure for engagement that can be used again and again in different communities by encouraging joint working and sharing of resources across services and the third sector – aiming to producing preventative services that address real needs and create more independent & resilient communities.

For more information, contact Lyndsey@medrwnmon.org

Maria Gallagher (PHW 1000 Lives) and Constance Adams (WCVA) are keen to bring more projects on board. Do contact them if you’d like to be part of the collaborative.