Three local organisations have been awarded funding to become pioneering community health and wellbeing hubs.
Whitby’s Eastside Community Centre, The Base in Scarborough’s old town and Spring Cafe in Hunmanby have each been granted £10,000 from a funding pot established by Scarborough Borough Council, North Yorkshire County Council Stronger Communities and Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group.
The successful bidders will use the money to set up preventative health and wellbeing services in the heart of their communities and provide information, advice and guidance. With access to many services now also online, the hubs will also have a strong digital element and will provide access to or training on IT and new technologies.
It’s hoped the pilot scheme will demonstrate how preventative services, such as those that stop residents turning up at accident and emergency or a GP surgery with illnesses that could have been avoided through earlier intervention, can be provided in a different way, through existing local organisations that are already used and trusted by their communities.
Cllr Michelle Donohue-Moncrieff, Scarborough Borough Council’s cabinet member for democracy, neighbourhoods and stronger and safer communities, and chairwoman of the Digital Inclusion Partnership, said: “This is a real opportunity for the public sector to work directly with trusted community organisations that already do so much good work in our neighbourhoods and parishes. By harnessing their local knowledge and commitment to their communities we will hopefully be able to see a range of much needed wellbeing services delivered in a more responsive way and achieve real value for money.”
The services on offer will vary across the three pilot areas but are likely to include:
l Bespoke IT training sessions for over 50s to enable them to take advantage of the social and economic benefits of being online;
l Free NHS health checks for eligible residents and blood pressure monitoring;
l Health information sessions around common medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, cardio-vascular disease;
l Social wellbeing activities that bring the community together such as coffee mornings, and book clubs.
Cllr David Chance, North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for stronger communities and public health, said: “This model of delivering health and wellbeing activity takes into account the priorities which are unique to a particular community and puts existing, trusted organisations at the centre of decision-making.
“It’s not about the public sector setting the health and wellbeing agenda, but about giving communities the power and resources to shape that agenda where they live.”
Greg Hayward, Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group health improvement officer, said: “We’re very fortunate to have some incredible community groups in the area and by working alongside them, there is potential to achieve much greater health outcomes than if we were trying to do this work alone.”
The three pilot hubs are due to be opened in March. Anyone wishing to know more can call 07786 621924.