West Norfolk Integrated Services – “Prevention First”
West Norfolk Integrated Services – “Prevention First”

The Solutions Service was commissioned due to the West Norfolk Partnership’s (WNP) frustrations with the current system, pressures of an aging population and a shared ambition to deliver higher quality, lower cost services through joint solutions. Our programme brought together a cross-section of practitioners in an intensive 10 week process to find a way of working together for the customer through a joint delivery model.  This included borough council, county council, local hospital, NHS, voluntary sector groups, GP/PCT commissioners, JC Plus, Probation and Police.

Following this work a solution was designed to achieve the overall objectives:

  • Enable partner organisations and communities to support older people in maintaining their independence and wellbeing.
  • Provide an integrated system that would help older people improve and sustain their quality of life.
  • Improve partnership working with communities and the voluntary sector to build community capacity for supporting older people.
  • With better integrated working, partner organisations will have shared financial benefits, which can then be re-invested into future integrated preventative models.
In practical terms this meant providing the information, advice and guidance needed to help over-65s live independently at home for as long as possible. In particular we want to help those who do not meet the threshold for formalised support through existing adult social care services. Many people would benefit from this level of support, perhaps help with picking up a prescription, finding out if there is a local activity in their community they could attend or signposting to a particular service such as befrienders or benefits advice.

Partners put together a budget of £200K to implement the solution and appointed a part-time project manager to drive it forwards. This led to a two-phase approach to implementation.
Phase one of the project is about establishing a single point of contact for people to access relevant information. This is being provided through the Borough Council’s contact centre and website. Central to this is the need for a database that will hold all the relevant information that may be required to help answer enquiries. This database will be accessed by the call centre advisors whilst on calls with customers. It would also need to be accessed through our website so that customers can ‘self-serve’ and other people working with them can access the same level of information. This phase will provide data on the types and nature of enquiries.

Phase two is about providing more targeted support in the community by local volunteers who are happy to help with day-to-day routine needs. It will by definition be informed by phase one, particularly through the monitoring of call data which will provide us with a picture of demand and allow us to assess whether the services and facilities exist locally to meet that demand. We can then design or commission services to meet clearly defined need.

In this current climate of austerity this is vital in ensuring we provide value for money services that our residents need whilst reducing unnecessary demands on our health and social care systems wherever possible

Ian Burbidge, Policy & Partnerships Manager - Kings Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council