Can Do Health & Care - Community Micro-Enterprise Report

Exploring what the role of community micro-enterprise could be in shaping 21st century care | 1 Exploring what the role of community micro-enterprise could be in shaping 21st century care Our event was chaired by Sam Glover, Chief Executive Officer of Healthwatch Essex, who opened the event, gave a flavour of the coming agenda and introduced the first speaker, Susannah Howard. S usannah offered us her perspective, not as an ICS Programme Director but as a daughter, offering us the story of her parents; Joe and Ann who met in 1960 whilst working at a hospital. They retired as grandparents to Harwich in 1995, where Ann continued to play the piano for both the church and local dancing school. Sadly, Joe passed away in 2010 however strong, determined Ann was keen to stay independent and continue to be an active member of the local community, despite her severe arthritis and having a new hip, 2 new knees and 2 new shoulders over the period from 2011- 2014. As a result, she needed extra help around the house and the family were able to solve this by using local connections, finding someone that could help with basic cleaning and who also became a friend. By 2015, Ann began having noticeable problems with her memory and was diagnosed with vascular dementia. One of the most important things for people with vascular dementia is that they stay active: Fortunately, in Harwich there are many resources providing opportunities for this, such as CVS Tendring’s Dovercourt and Harwich Hub, which hosts groups such as ‘Harwich Sing’ and ‘The Monday Club’. What is important, is that people can get to these things and there is community transport laid on. These things helped make a real difference for a while, but Ann’s condition declined and when she forgot a regular lunch appointment it became apparent that she needed more support but that this support needed to be flexible to enable her to continue with the community based activities she valued and enjoyed. In the summer of 2017 Susannah discovered Ann feeling very unwell one day and an ambulance was called. Ann had developed Bradycardia, with her heart rate having dropped to 26 beats per minute. She would need a pacemaker fitted to rectify the problem and was admitted shortly after to Colchester Hospital for the procedure and subsequently discharged home with reablement support, three times a day. This was fine for the short time someone was there and able to help her with things, but it wasn’t really enough and when Ann tried to do jobs when alone, she over-reached and managed to pull the wires out of her heart. She had to go back to hospital to have the pacemaker re-inserted and arrangements were made for her discharge to Harwich Hospital for after-care. Sadly, the community hospital setting didn’t work well for Ann: a longer hospital stay saw her developing acute delirium, distress and agitation and she pulled the wires from her heart a second time, requiring a third pacemaker to be fitted in Colchester Hospital. Having been so poorly for so long and in unfamiliar settings, Ann’s family realised that doing something normal can be hugely therapeutic. Susannah Howard ‘Why?’ access to local, flexible and good quality support really matters to people and families