28 Jun 2018

An innovative partnership programme which looks to improve people’s lives in St Helens has won a prestigious award.

Established to address the rising cost and demand in health and social care, St Helens Cares came out top in the Care and Health Integration category at last night’s (Wednesday) Municipal Journal (MJ) Achievement Awards 2018 in London.

Made up of a wide number of public sector providers including St Helens Council, NHS St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), St Helens & Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and housing group, Torus - St Helens Cares is an integrated approach in supporting people to live well, with a focus on preventing the need for health and social care by supporting people to remain independent for as long as possible.

The St Helens model – which could save residents in St Helens £80m by 2020 - is unique in the sense that is also includes services and support such as housing, education and arts and culture.

One of the key elements to St Helens Cares is the development of a Shared Care Record for each resident in the borough which gives health and care professionals an overview of the patient’s health and care record, including GP appointments, medication and hospital referrals.

This reduces the need for patients to repeat information, giving clinicians the full picture when treating patients – especially in emergency situations where understanding the full history of a person is vital.

While the formation of a new Contact Cares Team - made up of a number of services including occupational therapy; reablement; discharge team, community nurses, physiotherapy and adult and social services – is also contributing to a number of benefits including closer communication, quicker response times, reduced hospital admissions and memory screening training to spot the early signs of dementia.

St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Councillor Marlene Quinn, said:

“This award is testimony to the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes from our dedicated team who have created a great model to sustainably manage health and care cost and demand at a time when people are living longer, and yet budgets are tight.

“Of course, the main reward we hope to get out of St Helens Cares is the satisfaction of knowing that we are working to improve the lives of people in St Helens, helping them to lead healthier lifestyles and remain as independent as possible for longer – but it’s obviously nice to see national recognition, and I’m hopeful it will be the first award of many.”

St Helens Council’s Strategic Director for People’s Services and Accountable Officer for St Helens CCG, Professor Sarah O’Brien, added:

“These are proactive and exciting times in St Helens, with a number of public sector organisations coming together to best meet the needs of local people - taking an integrated, coordinated and people centred approach.

“I am delighted that St Helens Cares has won this award which is testament to the hard work we’ve invested into putting our residents and patients at the heart of all that we do.”