WEARSIDE MATTERS: What’s your view of community care?

Sharing a cup of tea and having a chat.
Sharing a cup of tea and having a chat.
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Have your say

Do you have poor health or social care needs or look after someone who does?

Could you spare an hour of your time to talk about your experiences of health and social care in Sunderland?

Having fun playing bingo.

Having fun playing bingo.

All Together Better recently carried out some general research with local people about their awareness and perceptions of their health and social care services.

The programme is a result of the city being highlighted as a ‘vanguard’ area, which has seen it roll out joined-up care that brings together health and social care professionals, alongside local support organisations to deliver better care to those who need it most in Sunderland.

Kerry McQuade, head of vanguard delivery, said: “The first round of research gave us a lot of interesting information and we’d now like to get a better, more detailed understanding of those findings by interviewing a small group of volunteers directly about their experiences.”

Anyone who receives care and support from professionals like GPs, district nurses, a social worker, therapists or Sunderland Care and Support at home, in a care home or at a local GP practice is invited to share experiences with the All Together Better team to help further improve services.

Kerry added: “We are focusing on ‘community care’ – any health and social care that is provided out of hospital.

“It is not about care or treatment you get when visiting hospital or if you are admitted.

“We would like to interview people – for no longer than about an hour – in a place that is convenient to them, so we would be happy to arrange interviews in peoples’ homes.

“Importantly we want to hear from people who have had both good and bad experiences – or a mix of both.”

Research hopes to highlight the city’s opinion on the aspects of care delivery that are working well and areas for development, to better align services and ensure individuals feel a part of creating their care plan.

The experiences and opinions of those who receive care and those who act as a carer for a loved one are equally as important for the programme’s research.

All information provided in the interviews will be kept confidential and responses kept anonymous.

If you think you can help or would just like to find out more email atb@nhs.net; call their independent researcher on 0191 645 6700, or take a look at the FAQs on the ‘Patient, Public and Carers’ section of the ATB website www.atbsunderland.org.uk

WE NEED YOU! CHAMPIONS SOUGHT TO SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT JOINED UP CARE

All Together Better (ATB) is appealing for a range of support from local people who can help make a difference to people in Sunderland who need the most care and support.

ATB champions, who can help to spread the word about a change to local services that is changing lives in Sunderland, are being sought.

ATB, which brings together health and social care professionals, alongside local support organisations, is providing more joined-up care to some of the most unwell and vulnerable people in the city.

The team behind the programme is seeking the help of members of the public, to volunteer as community champions and spread the word about the difference ATB can make to the people in Sunderland who need the most support, including those who look after them.

Kerry McQuade, head of vanguard delivery, said the champions will help reach out to people who may otherwise not know about the innovative way of working in Sunderland.

“All Together Better is changing lives in Sunderland for the better, by delivering community-based care to people who need it the most. We want to make sure that people know about the programme and can give us feedback about their experience of it, so what better way to do it than have our own team of vocal ambassadors spreading the word about our work through their personal networks of friends, families and work colleagues?

“ATB champions will effectively become the eyes and ears of All Together Better and we would love to get more people signed up to support us in spreading the word about this programme.”

To find out more, email atb@nhs.net or call Mike Lowthian on 0191 514 8322.