Personalised and Coordinated Care Supporting Independence
A Development for West Somerset
In a time when services often feel as if they are shrinking, we are delighted to announce the start of something new! The 5 practices of West Somerset have worked together with the voluntary sector and other agencies to put together a service proposal that will not only directly help with the care of our most elderly and frail patients but provide support to the wider community.
All the Practices in West Somerset are very enthusiastic about this project. It has been developed by us and was determined according to what we all felt was a patient need in our area. We will be working directly with other services already available in West Somerset; to help coordinate joined up patient centred care rather each organisation working independently.
Who is in the Living Better Team?
Dr Simon Cooper (elderly care consultant) – will be providing expert medical advice
Community Nurse Practitioners (CNP) – attached to each surgery
Your usual named GP
Local Village Agent – attached to each surgery
West Somerset Carer’s Agent
The patient and or the patient’s carer
Who is it for?
Living Better is a service for all patients registered with a practice in West Somerset needing support or advice from the project.
Dr Cooper and our Community Nurse Practitioner will usually be more involved with our most elderly, vulnerable or frail patient groups who often trying to cope with a variety of complex needs. This will include patients who have illnesses which can’t be cured and those who are gradually becoming frailer and need longer term support.
The Somerset Village Agents & Carer’s Agents work with people of all ages, dealing with a wide variety of issues, providing people in West Somerset’s rural communities with easier access to information and services.
What will it do?
Each community nurse practitioner is attached to a practice and will work very closely with your GP and other services involved in your care (social services, family, hospitals etc). They will help to tailor your care to your wishes after discussion with you and make sure that those who need to be aware of your wishes are informed. They will liaise with hospitals if you are admitted and will help to arrange a smooth discharge. The CNPs are the key ingredient for this project and will usually be the first port of call for many problems.
Working to together our Living Better team will look to provide support and solve problems to help promote independence which may, ultimately, help the elderly to remain living independently for longer. They help to bridge the gap between isolated, excluded, vulnerable and lonely individuals and statutory and/or voluntary organisations which offer specific solutions to identified needs.
The team also has the role of helping to shape services by feeding back to the appropriate body information about gaps in service e.g. transport provision.
As well as working with individuals who need their support, our Village Agents also work with the wider community to motivate and support community responses to a local need by encouraging people to work together to address issues e.g. by helping them to set up a coffee morning for a group of lonely people or start a volunteer car scheme.
More information about Village Agents can be found at https://somersetrcc.org.uk/our_work/supporting-individuals/somerset-village-agents-project/
If you would like the opportunity to know more about Living Better and what services are available locally, then pop along to one of the local Talking Cafés and see what is on offer. Please contact your local surgery to find out more about future café times and venues.
If you would like any further information generally about Living Better, please contact our Practice Manager.
Which GP Surgeries are Involved?
Dunster and Porlock Surgeries
Exmoor Medical Centre, Dulverton
Harley House Surgery, Minehead
Irnham Lodge Surgery, Minehead
West Somerset Healthcare, Williton