Celebration to mark new Sunderland caring project

The Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Barry Curran, and Mayoress Carol Curran with partners from the All Together Better project.

The Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Barry Curran, and Mayoress Carol Curran with partners from the All Together Better project.

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Months of work to test views about a new model of care in Sunderland have culminated in a celebration event.

Age UK Sunderland organised the event, attended by more than 100 people, including community groups and health and social care professionals, to unveil the findings of a programme designed to shape the new service called All Together Better.

The event, at the Stadium of Light, was organised to thank members of the public, patients, carers and community groups who have given up their time to share feedback about the new service.

The event saw professionals from the Clinical Commissioning Group speak about longer term plans for All Together Better which brings together health, social care and voluntary sector teams to provide care and support to those who need it most in Sunderland.

Steve Williamson, head of the provider board at All Together Better, said: “The input of the community is absolutely critical when it comes to shaping services – after all, they are the people who are engaging with All Together Better, either directly or as a family member of those who are being cared for by the new teams of health and social care professionals that are working in unison.

“This event is a great chance to share with those who have helped to shape the service over the last couple of months, how their valuable feedback is helping us to enhance All Together Better.

“This programme is about offering the best care possible to people in the city who need it most, and we are taking on board everything we learn along the way.”

More than 2,000 people have taken part on events throughout the city which draw on people’s personal experiences to ensure All Together Better continues to improve.

The initiative, established thanks to funding from NHS England, has seen teams of professionals – once working separately – come together to help some of Sunderland’s most poorly people to live as independently as possible, and stay out of hospital.

There are three parts of the All Together Better programme:

• Community Integrated Teams, which see teams made up of GPs, social workers, and community matrons, among others, based across the city.

• Recovery at Home, which provides short term care to people leaving hospital or who are experiencing spikes in their healthcare needs, to help them remain as independent as possible.

• Enhanced Primary Care, which will see GPs in Sunderland work to explore how people with one or more ongoing health condition can be better supported, using the latest technology and IT; delivery of more services in the community; greater support to help patients manage their own condition more effectively and more work to prevent people’s health from deteriorating.

Tracy Collins, deputy director of Age UK Sunderland, said: “The groups we have held have been extremely well attended.

“There is a genuine interest in the programme, which really is transformative and something many health and social care professionals have been pushing to see for years, if not decades.

“We have gained some extremely useful feedback, and though views have been overwhelmingly positive, the purpose was always to really drill down to understand the real difference this will make to lives in the city.”