Across Cumbria integrated care communities are enabling health and social care professionals, GPs, the voluntary sector and the community to work as one team to support the health and wellbeing of local people.
Each Integrated Care Community (ICC) has a hub which acts a little bit like an air traffic control centre, taking calls from various places and giving the most appropriate advice for patients and services.
Run by teams of trained administration staff, alongside a lead practitioner responsible for decision making, they work closely with health, care and voluntary organisations.
The Hub for Maryport and Cockermouth’s ICC deal with between 200 and 300 calls every week, proactively monitoring where people are in the health and care system and helping arranging support for people to stay in or return to their own homes.
As their senior hub coordinator explains, they want to pioneer the way in which ICCs work alongside voluntary organisations and local communities to support the development of services to help prevent ill health.
Amanda Fisher said: “We get a lot of patients call us and to be honest we find this the nicest part of the job. We get people calling us about appointments and we can check that for them but if we can also spend a little time speaking to them we can find out if they maybe need a little more support. We can then give them advice about where to get that support.
“As administrators we are really well placed to support people in a way that clinicians aren’t. Clinicians can obviously talk about the clinical aspect of a condition and what to do to improve that but what about all the other support that people can access? The clinicians haven’t got the time to help someone with other aspects of their care such as home help, support for a carer or how to access a local support group; therefore we see this as part of our role.
“If we can spend that little bit of time helping those patients who call us, then we will play our part in making sure people stay safe in their own homes and also help people stay independent and stop them becoming socially isolated.”
The Hub at Maryport hospital covers the Maryport and Cockermouth Integrated Care Community and they are very keen to develop a way of working that can be replicated across the whole of Cumbria. They want to ensure that patients remain at the heart of everything they do and to show that all staff can play their part in keeping people safe and deliver excellent care – even if your role is not clinical.