Our Support & Advice hubs are an important part of the services that we provide as they allow us to take a holistic, whole person approach to care, focussing, not just on patient's symptoms but on any underlying causes as well. There are any number of issues which could see an increase in patient contacts with their GP from mis-management of medication, financial issues, unhealthy lifestyle choices exacerbating a long standing illness or social isolation. The benefit of having on-site access to support and advice for patients is that we can assess all lifestyles and external factors affecting health and address those in conjunction with other treatments.
As part of our service from our Support & Advice Hubs we offer access to drop in and group sessions with community groups, expert patients and peers to develop local resilience and support networks. Here's a couple of examples of the kind of sessions we've held recently.
Case Study | Carers Leeds
We hosted drop in sessions with Carers Leeds at The Light Surgery. This session was to promote the awareness of the definition of being a carer, and the local support that is available to individuals who are fulfilling a caring role.
Case Study | Healthy Lifestyles
At The Light we are holding regular drop in sessions to support our patients in wanting to make a change in their lifestyle. Initially these sessions are face to face, but will eventually move onto a digital platform to allow the development of peer to peer networks, supporting each other throughout the year.
Case Study | Voluntary and Community Sector
The Shefﬁeld Support & Advice Hub has formed a positive relationship with ShipShape, a local well-being service offering advice and activities to bring positive health support to local residents across Shefﬁeld. Working collaboratively, OneMedicalGroup and ShipShape’s trained advisers are delivering outreach sessions in the community providing a range of different interventions. This includes free health checks and raising awareness of NHS supported campaigns such as Bowel Cancer Awareness Week, Jo’s Trust Cervical Screening Campaign, and the work of Wellbeing of Women, a charity dedicated to improving the health of women and babies. In many cases patients ask for the treatment they think will work. For example, a patient who has visited the centre with a sore throat traditionally would have expected antibiotics. By working in partnership with a Patient Adviser they can look at the step by step approach to self-care and alternatives to medical intervention.
Collaborative working has enabled the volunteers from ShipShape to gain additional skills working with the reception team including mandatory training such as conﬁdentiality. They also gain a better understanding of how NHS services work enabling them to act as ambassadors for positive choice when they work within ShipShape’s own Health & Wellbeing Centre.
Case Study | Engaging public sector services
At our Bracknell Support & Advice Hub our lead Patient Adviser has developed strong relationships with the local Ambulance Service, Fire Brigade and A&E departments to deliver ‘tea and talk’ sessions. Held on a monthly basis, the sessions are open to the public and last an hour. They provide advice and practical examples on how patients can take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing such as how to use ambulance services appropriately and the steps they can take to improve their self-care. Being located in an urgent care setting can have positive and negative impacts. As patients might only visit the centre once it is important to make a big impact quickly. The Support & Advice Hub is located in the waiting area and so is in direct view of patients. This makes the centre as accessible as possible and enables the patients to use it whilst they are waiting to be seen.
It is also heavily used by clinicians through the introduction of social prescribing whereby patients who attend inappropriately are referred for further education on how to use NHS services.