09/06/2023: Council wins national award for providing excellent support to residents

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A partnership involving a Norfolk district council, NHS and charity partners has scooped a prestigious national award for supporting the health and wellbeing of local residents.

Representatives from Breckland Council picked up the prize in the Health and Social Care category of the Local Government Chronicle Awards 2023, held in London last night (8 June).

Judges selected the nomination from Breckland Council and NHS Norfolk and Waveney as the winner in recognition of the integrated work delivered by the council, NHS, charities and other partners to tackle health inequalities in Breckland. Together, they have supported some of the district's most vulnerable people, including those who have experienced domestic abuse, isolation or loneliness, and people in need of mental health support.

Breckland Council launched its £1m Inspiring Communities programme in 2020, setting out a new partnership and community-led approach to the prevention of vulnerability within Breckland.

The programme has since gone from strength to strength, helping hundreds of local people to access the care they need, while reducing demand on GPs and hospital services and making savings to the public purse.

A significant number of patients who go to their GP are experiencing issues which can't necessarily be addressed through medical treatment, including domestic abuse and financial hardship. Consequently, Breckland Council was commissioned by the NHS to deliver a Social Prescribing service which sees Community Connectors spending time getting to know patients and listening to their whole story, before helping patients to access the care and support they need and feel empowered to work through their issues.

In addition, Breckland Council and the NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board have implemented an innovative new Community Health Worker service, in collaboration with Watton Medical Practice.

Originally devised in Brazil in the 1990s and described as 'the eyes and ears of the GP in the community', Community Health Workers are recruited from the local area and work to identify health, social and wellbeing needs early, before situations escalate.

Commenting on the positive impact the approach has had on local patients, Mr Tobi Amadasun, Lead Clinical Pharmacist and Partner at Watton Medical Practice, said: "Watton Medical Practice has been pleased to welcome the new community health workers into the practice.  They have been excellent in providing much needed support for residents in this area, and their work continues to go from strength to strength.  Their engagement has helped to identify issues upstream, which both saves money for the system and improves the outcomes for our patients.  We look forward to seeing this pilot develop over the next year and extending the team and support for our patients."

Speaking after the awards event, Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen, Breckland Council's Leader, commented: "I couldn't be prouder of what our Inspiring Communities partnership has achieved. Health and social care aren't traditionally seen as being in the remit of district councils. However, we are the heart of our communities, knowing every mile and have those services to support those when they need it. So, to win this national award demonstrates how district deliver, we've truly been able to break the mould. I'm absolutely delighted that we've won this award and I'd like to thank everybody involved in delivering the programme, but I'm sure they'll all agree that our biggest success will also be to have made such a huge difference to so many people's lives."

Last updated: 30/01/2024 09:43:06