Torchbearer - Active Dorset Visit
Blog by Matt Evans, Active People & Place Manager
Three of the Active Lincolnshire team visited Active Dorset for a study visit in July 2022. In a series of three blogs we are sharing some of our findings and initial reactions to what we heard, saw and felt whilst visiting. In this the third blog, I explain the work Active Dorset have done with Falls prevention and their Primary Care Network support.
Follow the links at the bottom of the page to read the first two blogs in the series.
At the start of our week in Dorset, we visited Bournemouth and spectated in the Queen’s Baton Relay celebrations ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. By the time we returned home, the baton would be almost in Lincolnshire ready to make an appearance on Sunday at the International Bomber Command memorial. The baton was symbolic of our trip: we wanted to see what Dorset learnt and bring that back to Lincolnshire.
Thursday, slightly buoyed by the victory on the golf course, I met Rob Munro regarding falls and frailty. He had identified that nobody really ‘owned’ Falls because it sits across several parts of the system including; MSK, Primary Care, Emergency Response and PHM. He guided us through his collection of knowledge and challenges highlighting the importance of effective response as well as prevention. Here, they have trained 999/111 call handlers and their local Ambulance Service crews on how to deal with falls-related issues. There is already evidence of a 20% reduction in admissions to hospital which is having a positive effect at A&E. PHM data has also been used to identify patients at risk of falling and these have begun to be sign posted to suitable interventions.
Diabetes conversations followed with Health and Physical Activity Officers, Emma Forsyth and Bradley Jones. Their work with Living Well and Taking Control links directly to the national diabetes prevention plan but is guided by the needs and population demand set by the local Public Health team. They are reviewing the content sent out by the service deliverers and flagging particular gaps in messaging or outdated resources. Emma also showed me the online training platform that they have developed which provides a home for videos and short courses. This resource bank is used for all conditions and pathways with some of the content being easily transferable.
Trailblazing in Primary Care!
Katie Davies returned to talk about the Active Practice Charter and how they have developed a Trailblazer approach for a handful of Primary Care Networks to access. I was shown the online resources that they had developed in order to guide Clinical Leads and Practice Managers through the application process. Sure, they could go online and complete the RCGP form but that’s not the approach AD want to take. Instead, they are working together to deep dive into the detail and are looking into what benefits there are to being an active practice on both patients and staff alike. The work is likely to last up to 12 months as they review correspondence, identify local opportunities and seek positive solutions for embedding physical activity. The award will provide a catalogue of evidence for the ICS and highlight the effective use of PHM data in patient care. They will identify cohorts that will benefit from non-medical procedures and be able to “place” them with suitable, local, community activities. Active Dorset will support everyone to understand the importance of physical activity by tooling Healthcare professionals and up-skilling volunteers to be able to accommodate different needs within activities, supported by their on-line learning tools. They are also looking at how the Together Fund might be suitably used to grow capacity and engage a diverse audience into existing provisions. Staff wellbeing will also feature as a key component of the trailblazers. Re-thinking how they go about their work and looking for ways to remove barriers that inhibit a more physically active workplace will enable GP practices to embrace a culture “to practice what they preach”.
I am absolutely convinced that the visit to Dorset has been one of the most beneficial learning experiences I have had. I haven’t had a minute to be bored or lose interest in a webinar. Instead, I have been immersed in the “work” of a high performing Active Partnership; seeing, feeling and hearing all of the how and why of ‘Connecting with Health’. Emma, Lorna and I are extremely grateful to our hosts and are looking forward to implementing the learning. I am also keen to share it so if you haven’t read my other articles, please do have a browse now. Charlie and I have also recorded a podcast and hope, as the series builds up, to be able to share more learning and understanding as we continue our work together.
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