Wolverhampton's first integrated health and social care community hub sees benefits for patients following its first year of success

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Patients in the north area of Wolverhampton are benefitting from better integrated health and social care thanks to a new community hub model developed by NHS Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) along with its partners in the Better Care Fund (BCF) programme; The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, City of Wolverhampton Council, Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Housing and the Voluntary Sector.

The CCG, along with its BCF partners, brought together over 60 health and social care professionals under one roof, at Wolverhampton Science Park, to form an integrated community hub in December 2018.

The model has enabled health and social care professionals to have face-to-face conversations about the patients and families they are supporting, ensuring the patient receives the right interventions at the right time.

Karen Evans, Strategic Transformation Manager at Wolverhampton CCG, said: “I’m delighted that the hub is working so well. The hard work to get the teams to work together has paid off and we are now reaping the benefits.”

Ben Ngundu, Senior Social Work Manager at City of Wolverhampton Council said: “The hub has removed the barriers of communication that previously existed between health and social care. It is amazing to be able to just walk across the office to speak to healthcare staff about a vulnerable person, rather than having to wait to receive a call back from a member of the team.

The success of the hub is testimony to the team’s hard work and resilience. Everybody should be proud of what we have achieved over the last year. While it wasn’t easy to move offices, we have settled into this new way of working which has had a positive impact for our vulnerable people and their families.”

Nicola Dimmock, Locality Nurse Manager at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, said: “Joint visits are much easier to organise now that health and social care colleagues are based at the same office. Anecdotally, we have completed the same number of joint visits in two months as we did in a whole year before the hub was introduced.”

Melvena Anderson, Deputy Director of Mental Health Services at Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The interface between all agencies has meant the patient pathway to services is more seamless. This has had a positive impact on them due to the timeliness and quality interventions at the right time.

I am proud of our achievements and I am looking forward to continuing the working partnership, and development of further hubs in Wolverhampton.”

The inception of community integrated hubs in Wolverhampton was one of the main incentives of the BCF programme; to bring health and social care services closer together.

The model has proved to be successful and Wolverhampton CCG, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, City of Wolverhampton Council and Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust are looking to implement the next community hub later on this year.