Guest blog: Changing the way health and care is delivered

Older people chatting

This is the first in a series of blogs on Age UK’s Integrated Care Programme. Here Kelly from Age UK’s ‘Living Well’ integrated care service in Portsmouth talks about the difference it’s making to older people’s lives.

A new service is changing the way health and care is delivered in Portsmouth.

‘Living Well’ is an integrated care service which sees Age UK Portsmouth working with the NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group, Portsmouth City Council, Solent NHS Trust and Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust. Together our aim is to support older people to lead a more fulfilling life.

The service is targeted at people over the age of 50 with multiple long-term health conditions who have found themselves going in and out of hospital.

We have a great team here working on the service, full of staff and volunteers who want to enable some of the most vulnerable people to become more independent and fulfil their goals in life. We have already had some amazing successes with the people we have worked alongside so far.

One lady, identified by her GP and invited on to our service, was left with very little confidence after suffering a recent stroke – so much so that she wouldn’t leave her house. Since coming onto the programme, she has begun to travel by herself to go to the hairdressers once a week, to her local shops and is getting her life back to what it was before. With the vital support of the ‘Living Well’ service, she has not let life get in the way of her happiness.

Sometimes people’s goals and aspirations may seem small in the grand scheme of things – popping down to your local convenience store may seem insignificant to you or me but it can make a huge difference to someone’s life.

One gentleman who was also referred to us via his GP desperately wanted to be in work again. He was left feeling helpless after life threw all sorts of problems his way and he felt he couldn’t dig himself out of a hole. He laughed as he said his main goal would be to get a job driving again as it just felt impossible to him. One of our team members put him in touch with a local driving company, and, following a day’s trial where his enthusiasm and initiative shone through, he was soon offered a full time position. This made a huge difference to every aspect of his life. Without our team guiding him and providing someone to believe in him, he may not have made such a huge step forwards.

The service has other aims too. It has been designed not only to assist people to live a more independent life and improve their health and wellbeing, but to look at improving the quality of care and support for those that need it, help people access GPs and other primary care services more effectively and help them stay out of hospital when possible.

Age UK Portsmouth are very proud of what has been achieved so far and are excited about what the future of our ‘Living Well’ service holds.

Find out more about Age UKs Integrated Care Programme

Read consumer advice about health and wellbeing

Author: Age UK

Age UK is dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life. In the UK we help more than 7 million older people each year by providing advice, combating loneliness and enabling independence. Locally, we work as part of a network of independent charities which includes Age UK, Age Cymru, Age NI and Age Scotland and over 150 local Age UK partners in England and Wales.

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