As Health Connections Mendip Service Lead I have taken the service from an idea a GP and I had in 2013 to an exciting, innovative service that supports 100s of people a week in a truly person centred way. The ideas and projects that we have started are being replicated across the UK following our very popular conferences. Working on New Models of Care, alongside the Mendip Symphony project, we have statistics that show that together we have reduced unplanned hospital admissions by 30%.
Health Connections Mendip maps groups/services/organisations in the community that promote health and wellbeing in its widest sense. This information is then available for health professionals and the general public on our website.
We also support the community to set up groups/activities/services in partnership with the voluntary sector where there is a need.
The service has a team of Health Connectors who are based in GP practices and support people 1:1 to improve health and wellbeing, manage long term health conditions and connect with local support or others in similar situations.
We run weekly Talking Cafés, On Track Goal Setting groups, Self Management Programme and exercise programme for those who would not otherwise exercise.
Health Connections trains Community Connectors who are members of the public who signpost friends, family and colleagues to support in the community. We have over 500 Connectors who have over 10,000 signposting conversations a year.
Our service allows health professionals to have social prescribing at their fingertips. Our website is linked into their EMIS patient record allowing instant access to information on community support for their patients.
This has happened with the amazing support of Mendip GPs, the community taking the lead, really inspiring patients and a fantastic team.
I am a creative, innovator – I love facilitating connections and I find it easy to come up with ideas and turn them into reality.