Pip Goff, Third Sector and Community Local Care Partnerships (LCP) Development Manager, recently met with Karen Woloszczak, the Manager at Action for Gipton Elderly and Sean Tunnicliffe Communications Officer, Leeds Older People’s Forum, to talk about Local Care Partnership. Sean also wrote this blog about the meeting to share more information about Local Partnerships – what they are and what they doSo what is a Local Care Partnership?
A Leeds Local Care Partnership provides joined up team working to improve health and care delivery to local people, a requirement set out in the NHS Plan. Local Care Partnerships work with the 19 different Leeds neighbourhoods, and other third sector goups, and link closely to the new Primary Care Networks funded by NHS England, to bring valuable partnership input from the Third Sector, Housing and elected councillors alongside Primary Care, other NHS health care services and children and adult social care.
The Local Care Partnerships (LCPs) work with third sector organisations who have that local knowledge and are already providing services which can be developed rather than setting up new schemes.
Some of the best examples of this partnership working is shown through the many Neighbourhood Network Schemes (NNS) who provide a lifeline for thousands of older people in Leeds.
As Pip said: “We need to tell people about the wonderful work the third sector is doing and value these brilliant assets.”
Keeping it local
Action for Gipton Elderly (AGE) covers a large area which includes part of Harehills as well as Gipton. The majority of its members are aged 70-80+ and are also neighbours having lived in the area for many years. Gipton has a large pre-war council estate and AGE’s centre is in the middle of this estate.
Karen told us that her aim is to improve the lives of older people in Gipton and that there is something good about being independent.
AGE builds relationships with its members and because they are given the services they need and can retain their independence. AGE also provides services for people with high needs, which takes pressure off local statutory health and social care services.
Karen told us “Members value their independence and don’t want to be patronised or feel they need charity. They are happy to pay for things such as taxis to get them to the AGE Centre.”
AGE has lots of connections with local services, businesses and workers such as postal workers and people sometimes contact AGE directly to express concern about neighbours or people living on the estate. This helps the organisation to identify people who may benefit from some of the services they offer.
AGE has a special care group where people being cared for use to allow their carers some time for themselves and to get some respite.
Valuing independence, valuing people
One way AGE helps their members to retain their independence is the use of volunteers and workers to support people who find getting out difficult. Karen told us about Shanice, a young woman, who helps Jack, who is in his 90s and lives in a flat.
Shanice was a volunteer who was referred to AGE by GIPSIL, a third sector organisation which works with children, young people and families in disadvantaged communities in Leeds.
About a year ago Jack had a fall and asked for help and support with hospital appointments. Shanice was assigned to support Jack and she would arrange taxis to get him to hospital appointments and to go shopping. Shanice would also go with Jack to help him and to be there for him. She visited him at home and helped him to get online and showed him how to order things on the internet. Supporting Jack was as beneficial to Shanice as it was to Jack, so much so that in fact Shanice is now a trainee wellbeing worker at AGE.
The value of partnership
Karen talks with great eloquence, passion and belief about her work and the pride she has in what AGE does comes through with great clarity. This is something that you see and hear a lot in both the third and statutory sectors in Leeds.
Sean says: “Here in Leeds we are fortunate that all sectors work together and with the support of the LCPs it feels like this partnership working could become even better and like the case with Jack and Shanice, benefit everyone involved.”
Thank you Pip, Karen and Sean for this insight into how Local Care Partnerships can work.
If you would like to get in touch with AGE you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org or
phone: 0113 240 9784