Can Do Health & Care - How Do We Heal? System Learning Summit

people they know, particularly those most at risk, to see if they are ok and if there is anything they can do or help them find support. They are looking to create programmes using Suffolk Mind’s Needs Met with a focus on building wellbeing and ultimately confidence amongst older people. They are also looking at developing an ‘angel’ programme where some older people act as an ‘angel’ to encourage other older people back. Suffolk Libraries puts a very strong focus on wellbeing, keeping it at the heart of everything they do. All of the themes highlighted in reconnecting our communities can be addressed by meeting basic emotional needs, but this needs to start at a grassroots level in places and spaces where people feel comfortable. The service they provided before the pandemic were always full to capacity. The service currently has over 3,500 registered users for Dial-a-Ride, over 5,000 for the hopper service and over 400 groups that hire out vehicles for community trips. Most of the Dial-a-Ride users are over 70, and the transport services are a vital part of people’s lives – relied on for shopping, health related appointments, social and leisure activities, employment, training and visiting family. When the Government announced we were going into a lockdown in March 2020, the services were wiped out overnight except for the hospital hopper, which continued to operate for those receiving cancer treatment or with urgent medical appointments at Colchester Hospital. The offices were closed, and staff worked at home until June. Many service users suddenly found themselves unable to go out as the majority of them had to shield. There was a need to adapt to a new way of working. We had to source PPE to supply to hospital hopper drivers who were able to continue to work to help keep them safe. Service users were now being supported in different ways, such as making sure they had essential food supplies and food parcels. We picked up click and collect shopping orders (and still do for some), linked service users with volunteers that could shop for them or pick up prescriptions and carried out weekly welfare checks. CVS Tendring produced a directory of local companies providing services during the pandemic so we provided contact details of local shops that were delivering fresh food and companies that were delivering hot meals. We were also available on the end of a phone to provide advice to people who were anxious, scared or lonely and without relatives in the area. We received referrals from the Essex Welfare Service, and collaborated with CVS Tendring And United in Kind to support local people. CVS Tendring hosted meetings for voluntary and statutory services staff to come together and discuss their experiences and share information so they could promote each other’s services. As lockdown started to ease, service users began to enquire about going out again, but they were anxious about travelling with other people and going to supermarkets for the first time in months. Many had lost their confidence and for some their mobility had suffered. Vehicles were adapted and we purchased sanitising equipment, fitted Perspex screens to vehicles and reassured service users we were doing everything possible to keep them safe. We also supported the roll-out of the vaccination programme, which has boosted people’s confidence to go out. As a result, we have gained new service users, including a 101-year-old gentleman who lives alone and supports himself, but we know that there are people in the community we are not reaching who are isolated and vulnerable. Most people want to go back to their usual weekly bookings and are eager to know that the familiar faces they saw every week are ok. They want to be able to meet up with friends, browse around the shops and access the everyday activities important to their health and wellbeing. People feel trapped and isolated in their own homes and community transport increases people’s social interaction and reduces loneliness. Vulnerable people often need support from health professionals, and the service receives calls from elderly people who have no access to a vehicle but need to go and have dressings changed. Doctors’ surgeries tell them they are too busy to see them and advise them to go to Clacton Walk-In centre, yet they have no means of getting there, no family support and have nowhere else to turn. The best way to support everyone in the community is to tailor services to meet their needs – we are growing our services to support individuals and allocating more time to service user’s journeys owing to changes in their mobility. Passenger numbers are increasing and some social groups re- opening, and day trips can resume when Government restrictions are lifted. People want to feel normal again.” Building on our Community Conversations Pauline Mann - Community Transport/Tendring Together Pauline explained “Tendring Community Transport has provided accessible passenger transport services in the Tendring area for over 20 years. These services include: Dial-a-Ride, Hospital Hopper service, group hire and day trips. Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System | 3

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