The Bureau Community Navigation Lead

My name is Charlotte Leonhardsen and I am Community Navigation Lead for Glossopdale, part of Care Together Tameside & Glossop – aiming to put people, rather than process’s and systems, at the heart of their own care.

Social Prescribing aims to link patients in primary care with local self-help and community based solutions. The Bureau differs in its approach to most other schemes.

Not only does it act as a focal point between Primary Care and Adult Social Care, The Bureau is an active partner helping to develop creative solutions and actively unlocking other government funding to match investment by local partners. It uses outreach points in GP practices, and works with local organisations to provide a smooth and seamless pathway for local people to navigate between services and actively become involved in their self-care. Crucially for the home grown organisation it is also helping to improve the financial resilience and sustainability of the local voluntary and community sector in Glossop.

The Bureau underpins its social prescribing model with the time, energy and skills of over 150 local volunteers offering good neighbour support and connecting people and activities across Glossopdale. It also works with High Peak CVS as its key partner and the combined local knowledge and experience is used to help identify gaps in local provision and develop new services. So far since April 2017 we have supported 18 groups to forms,

We cover the whole of Glossopdale, including surrounding villages working with a total of 7 GP practices

We have 3 Navigators in post that cover the Glossopdale area creating 2 full time equivalent roles. Examples, but not exclusively, of the support delivered:-

  • Tailor made menu of support solutions that reflect each individual

  • Ongoing supported plan of action that will enable individuals to reach their goals

  • A range of contact methods to suit individual need including, telephone contact, home visits and office appointments

  • A person centred link worker approach that moves at the pace of the individual

  • Links to services available to Glossop residents including charities, voluntary sector services and community led support services

  • Chaperoning for the initial visits to new local groups to establish social connections

  • Volunteers (Social Connectors) sat alongside the navigators to support individual to attend activities to overcome anxiety and low self-esteem

  • Removing initial barriers such as lack of confidence, and/transport issues

  • Refer to ASC for additional care needs

  • Befriending through our cohort of Befrienders & Social Connectors

  • Outcomes measured through SWEMWB step change, client feedback, & case studies

Our clients are seeing a positive change in their general outlook on life, and the way they deal with problems they are facing on a day to day basis. The individual’s ability to problem solve, and knowing where to get help is continuing to develop, even past the intervention. This is due to gaining an increased awareness of themselves, such as their strengths and confidence as well as a closer connection to their community and knowledge on how to access support, that doesn’t involve their GPs.

Friendships are being formed at our Community Navigation Drop ins, that reaches further than the session, and a core group is now meeting up for lunch in a local venue after the drop in on a monthly basis.

The integrated work with team members of the Primary Care health sector, such as GPs, nurses, community physios, community paramedic & ASC together with The Bureau creates a strong supportive network around the individual, and limits the risk of “falling through the gaps”. It also create a strong sense of community for the worker’s within the teams and limits frustrations caused by lack of understanding of each other’s work, challenges and strengths.

Since implementing Elemental, a portal available through EMIS and online, we have seen a bigger spread in referrals, and increased referrals from GP practices. The tool allows the referrers to follow the client’s engagement, status and improvements which means our involvement become part of their prescriptions more visually and allows a continuous partnership between the Community Navigator and the referrer.

The Bureau have just been awarded a grant to increase our volunteer cohort of Befrienders and social connectors, to allow more individual to receive this vital support to get back out engaging with the community. The project is also looking at increasing our group of volunteer drivers, to be able to provide the car scheme to be utilised for social activities, and thereby remove one of the biggest barriers our clients are facing

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 Charlotte Leonhardsen: Manager - Community Wellbeing Projects

The Bureau Community Navigation Lead

My name is Charlotte Leonhardsen and I am Community Navigation Lead for Glossopdale, part of Care Together Tameside & Glossop – aiming to put people, rather than process’s and systems, at the heart of their own care.