Unlocking the potential of in-community health care and wellbeing support.

The importance of community health care support services cannot be overstated.

These invaluable resources play a pivotal role in ensuring the well-being and quality of life for individuals and families within a community. From assisting vulnerable populations to promoting preventive healthcare measures, these services are the backbone of a strong and inclusive healthcare system.

The Crane Valley Primary Care Network is proud to embrace in community, healthcare, and wellbeing support organisations, that can work in tandem with our surgeries to further strengthen the resources available for the community.

Introducing SWITCH. SWITCH stands for Supporting Wellbeing Improving the Community’s Health.

There are lots of health signposting sites out there, but what makes SWITCH different is that content is cocreated with the patients and sets out clearly the potential benefits of using the services. SWITCH will also make information available to those who have visual impairments or are digitally disengaged, through a series of downloadable audio guides available for offline use.

It is a programme of self-help and signposting services that have been identified and reviewed by both social prescribers and members of the Patient Participation Group. All organisations on Switch will clearly set out the following:

  • The types of health conditions supported.
  • Name of organisation that provides the service.
  • What they can do for the person seeking help.
  • How they do it
  • What benefits could a person experience from using these services. 
  • Where do they operate and how to get there.
  • How to contact them.
  • And support Information for carers together with helpful downloadable information.

So, what are the wider benefits of SWITCH?

Accessibility and Proximity:

SWITCH listed support services will be typically located within neighbourhoods or localities, making them easily accessible to residents. This proximity eliminates barriers to healthcare, ensuring that people can access essential services without having to travel long distances or face logistical challenges.

Targeted Assistance for Vulnerable Populations:

Services listed on SWITCH will be reviewed by the Patient Participation Group before publication to ensure they cater to the needs of vulnerable populations such as the elderly, low-income families, individuals with disabilities, and those suffering from chronic illnesses. By tailoring their assistance to meet the specific requirements of these groups, community health care support services ensure that no one is left behind in their pursuit of good health.

Early Detection and Prevention:

Prevention is always better than cure, and SWITCH support services play a crucial role in promoting proactive healthcare measures. Through health education programs, screenings, and awareness campaigns, these services help identify health issues at their earliest stages, preventing the development of more serious conditions and reducing the burden on hospitals and emergency rooms.

Promoting Mental Health and Emotional Well-being:

In addition to physical health, SWITCH listed support services can emphasise mental health and emotional well-being. They provide counselling, support groups, and therapy sessions to help individuals cope with stress, anxiety, and other psychological challenges that may arise from various life situations.

Encouraging Healthy Lifestyles:

SWITCH support services will actively promote healthy lifestyles by organizing fitness classes, nutrition workshops, and smoking cessation programs. By encouraging residents to adopt healthier habits, these services contribute to the prevention of chronic diseases and foster a culture of wellness within the community.

Facilitating Holistic Care:

Holistic care involves addressing not just physical health but also social, emotional, and economic factors affecting an individual’s well-being. SWITCH support services will identify community organisations and agencies to provide comprehensive care, ensuring that individuals receive the support they need in various aspects of their lives.

Reducing the strain on Crane Valley PCN GP Surgeries and the NHS:

SWITCH will help significantly reduce the strain on the NHS and GP Surgeries by complimenting existing healthcare support, increasing the strength and depth of community health support services. By focusing on preventive measures, early detection, and chronic disease management, these services help reduce the number of emergency visits and hospital admissions, leading to lower healthcare costs for individuals and society.

Fostering a Sense of Community:

Many of the organisations that will be listed on SWITCH will often function as hubs that bring people together, fostering a sense of community and social cohesion. This interconnectedness can lead to mutual support, the sharing of resources, and a stronger sense of belonging, all of which contribute to improved mental health and overall well-being.

SWITCH will provide access to wider community based preventative care, targeted assistance, and holistic well-being ensures that all members of the community have access to the support they need to lead healthy, fulfilling lives.

How the Patient Participation groups help ensure the content is relevant and patient centric?

The aim is to ensure that patient perspectives are considered when making decisions about the types of services and the messaging on the SWITCH program. As the success of community uptake is so heavily depended on the patients having trust and confidence in the use of organisations and support groups other than their GP, the language and perception is best reviewed by members of the PPG as part of the identification and inclusion process.

The Barcelo’s PPG and The Cranborne Practice PPG peer review content on this site ensuring:

Feedback and Suggestions:
PPG members provide input on communication methods, services offered, and patient experience provided by SWITCH.

Community Engagement:
PPGs promote the value of the service among patients, fostering a supportive environment where individuals can share their experiences and learn from each other.

Quality Improvement:
PPGs identify areas for improvement in the quality of solutions and services on SWITCH. We encourage the PPGs to help identify gaps, suggest changes, and advocate for patient-centred improvements.

Information Sharing:
PPGs to facilitate the exchange of information between patients and the social prescribers, helping patients understand the value and process of social prescribing and enabling providers to better understand patient concerns.

Here is how PPG’s fit into the overall process of identifying and promoting community healthcare provision:

The process for switch, provider identifies and reviewed by the PPG

Once a community resource has been identified a record will be created that set out the key patient information. This will then be sent to the PPG for a review to assess suitability, relevance, the messaging and to add any further information the community made need or would increase the chances of patients using the service on offer.

SWITCH is run by the Crane Valley PCN – The Bungalow Newtown Road Verwood Dorset.