"Working together across places and partnerships is something Greater Manchester does extremely well"
The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has launched a new kind of home care provision in Wigan.
Wellbeing Teams turns home care on its head and is inspired by a radical model from the Netherlands.
The new system – a partnership between charity Making Space, person-centred care pioneer Helen Sanderson and Wigan Council - builds a personalised support network around older people living in their own homes.
The pioneering method ensures that every individual's 'circle' of care is made up of professional care workers, primary care professionals, friends, family, neighbours and other community groups. Its aim is to provide a more joined up approach to care.
Wellbeing Teams has grown out of the pioneering work carried out by Buurtzorg nurses in the Netherlands
At the heart of the new provision, says project partner health and social care charity Making Space, is reconnecting people to their communities and putting them in control of their own care.
Burnham, unveiled a celebratory plaque and chatted with key partners, included Rachel Peacock and Alan Teague, CEO and chair of trustees, Making Space, Helen Sanderson, the creator of Wellbeing Teams and Joanne Wilmott, assistant director provider management and market development, Wigan Council.
He said: “Working together across places and partnerships is something Greater Manchester does extremely well. Here in Wigan we can see just how much of a difference can be made to people’s lives when community services and public agencies come together to address individuals’ varying health and social care needs.
“Our vision in Greater Manchester is to see local people getting the care that they need, for as long as they want it, and in places close to where they live. We must focus more on prevention and early intervention, providing high-quality community-based support to keep people happy, healthy and independent in their own homes, before they reach crisis point and need admitting to hospital.”
"It's the kind of common sense approach that is hard to disagree with," said Making Space CEO Rachel Peacock, "and it may just be the answer to the current care crisis.
"Wellbeing Teams are small groups of local care workers who are trained to look at the whole person and not just a health condition," she said.
"Every individual receives care from a small group of support workers assigned to them, providing continuity and helping to preserve dignity around personal care.
"Their holistic approach to individualised care means that getting someone out and about, enabling them to enjoy their hobbies and interests and helping them to have a meaningful social life are seen as just as important as having a hair wash or getting dressings changed.
"The model is based on the belief that the answer to the care crisis lies within local communities. By connecting people back into their community, we believe there will not only be tangible savings in primary care, but that the quality of provision will rise."