Sunday, 9 March 2014

Sid Valley Neighbourhood Healthwatch Event ..... ..... Tuesday 11th March

This week sees an important effort to coordinate community help for the elderly:

Sidmouth GP backs development of neighbourhood health watch for the town
Local doctors from the Sid Valley have backed the idea for a new hotline for struggling elderly residents to use if they need help. Following an article in last month’s Sidmouth Herald many local people and organisations have already shown an interest in getting involved with the scheme. The scheme would help to coordinate the large number of helpful organisations in the area to have maximum benefit for the local elderly population.

Local residents and organisations are being invited to an event on Tuesday 11 March to explore ideas for developing and building on a range of existing support services in the Sid Valley area. The event will include a presentation on the public health profile and health plan for the district, information about how the neighbourhood health watch scheme works and a facilitated discussion to explore enhancing what currently happens in Sid Valley.

The neighbourhood health watch concept is up and running in a number of communities in Devon each one adapted to suit the local community and early feedback has been positive.
A Devon-based GP, Dr Jane Aitken recognised the potential to take the traditional neighbourhood watch approach – which enables residents to assist the police by working in partnership to help reduce crime – and use it to help improve the overall health and wellbeing of communities, using resources that already exist within them.

Dr Mike Slot, a GP from Sidmouth, encouraged local people to go along to the event to hear what is available from a neighbourhood health watch scheme. “There are many groups and individuals doing important and helpful work in the town, and this is an opportunity to raise awareness of this and to improve co-ordination between these initiatives,” he said.

Devon has many more elderly residents than in most parts of England and Sidmouth has a high proportion of over 65s living alone, which has additional specific needs. Schemes already exist in Devon and across England where communities work together to tackle loneliness, isolation and health. A local example is the Sidmouth Help Link charity that provides co-ordination services.

The event to be chaired by the Chairman of the Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce, Steven Kendall-Torry, takes place on Tuesday 11 March, from 4pm – 6pm, at the Sidford Ground of Sidmouth Rugby Club, Sidford, EX10 9QY.

To book a place at the event, please email d-ccg.easternlocality@nhs.net or phone 01392 356 079.
Sidmouth GP backs neighbourhood health watch for the town
GPs back ‘Sidmouth hotline’ idea - News - Sidmouth Herald
Vision Group for Sidmouth - Sid Valley Neighbourhood Healthwatch Event

The project is panning out across Devon:

Neighbourhood Health Watch: connecting trusted community support for health

Watches: Budleigh FOOD NEIGHBOURS

Neighbourhood Health Watch is all about helping communities support each other's health needs.
The aim of Neighbourhood Health Watch is to increase community resilience and reduce isolation and loneliness.  The idea came from a Devon based GP who could see that communities already do a lot to help one another, but that it would be good to support communities to enable them to do more. 
Following a successful two year pilot, a further one year has been commissioned by Devon County Council where Neighbourhood Health Watch will be tested in four new areas, to particularly look at issues of safeguarding and risk.  The project will be managed in partnership by Westbank Community Health & Care and Devon Partnership NHS Trust.
Isolation and loneliness can cause stress, anxiety and depression, as well as physical health problems e.g. reduced mobility which can lead to falls, poor health due to poor diet or inadequate heating.  By empowering neighbours to help one another through Neighbourhood Health Watch it is hoped that no-one should be left feeling isolated or without support when they have a need.
Watches are not a new idea. Neighbourhood Watch© is an extremely successful community crime prevention initiative supported by the police. We found that many of these watches were also talking about loneliness, isolation and health within their communities but with no clear system in place to assist them. Neighbourhood Health Watches are being supported to help them engage in a way which is useful to both them and their communities. This in turn will help to reduce the strain being put on the statutory agencies (i.e. GP's, hospitals and police etc) at a time when budgets are being cut and resources are being squeezed.
This scheme is not designed to replace existing voluntary organisations.  It is about recognising that many people want to contribute or give something back in their communities but have no structured way of doing this or may not have the time to volunteer formally.  There are many good Samaritans who work tirelessly, in isolation, supporting their neighbours but can more of us do more to help?
The Neighbourhood Health Watch model can be applied to communities within both urban and rural communities, it just takes a few "Good Neighbours" who are willing to work together to make a difference, a supportive GP and police community support officer.

  • Opportunity to promote volunteering
  • Scheme designed to compliment existing voluntary services
  • Identifies and signposts
  • Connecting neighbours
  • Socialisations
    - contact
  • Promotes community activism
  • Promotes rapid community response
  • NOT Supported volunteering
  • NOT personal care
  • NOT benefits advice service
  • NOT replacement patient transport service
  • NOT health replacement – it is about promoting wellbeing
  • NOT about setting up new groups that are NOT Neighbourhood Health Watch
  • NOT organised trips service
  • NOT a buddying or befriending scheme
  • NOT a structured or replacement service for the existing voluntary services

Neighbourhood Health Watch » Neighbourhood Health Watch: connecting trusted community support for health

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