An evaluation of the Third Sector Referral Coordinator Team

Snell, Laura, Grimwood, Tom and Goodwin, Victoria (2022) An evaluation of the Third Sector Referral Coordinator Team. HASKE. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Context:
Health and Society Knowledge Exchange (HASKE), at the University of Cumbria, was commissioned by Cumbria Council for Voluntary Services (Cumbria CVS) to evaluate the ICC Third Sector Referral Coordinator Team and its work, including the Health and Welfare Telephone Support Service.

The Third Sector Referral Coordinator Team was initially established in June 2019 as a 12-month pilot service, funded by NHS England. The initial aim of the pilot was to embed one coordinator in Eden Integrated Care Community and another in Cockermouth and Maryport Integrated Care Community. The goal was to become familiar with the third sector services in both of these areas and to encourage health colleagues to refer patients to the appropriate services within the communities.

In March 2020, as a direct response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Health and Welfare Telephone Support Service was established to help safeguard and support patients on discharge from hospital, or whenever it was felt that patients might benefit from additional support from third sector services. The Health and Welfare Telephone Support Service was developed by Cumbria CVS in partnership with NCIC NHS Trust and funded by North Cumbria CCG. The Service is delivered by the Third Sector Referral Coordinator Team in partnership with seven third sector organisations: Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK Carlisle and Eden, Age UK West Cumbria, Carlisle Carers, Eden Carers, People First and West Cumbria Carers.

The Health and Welfare Telephone Support Service provides support to patients through a series of up to five telephone calls which aim to identify and address health and social concerns; link patients and their carers to ongoing community support; support patients to navigate health and social care services; and keep clinical staff updated about issues and outcomes. During the pandemic, this service expanded its reach to support all eight ICCs across North Cumbria.

Methodology:
Two online surveys were designed to collect data from the Third Sector Referral Coordinator Team and the ICC staff who have referred into the Team and/or the Health and Welfare Telephone Support Service. In addition, referral data from October 2020 to October 2021 was provided by Cumbria CVS, along with patient case studies.

Findings:
• The data collected through the surveys and case studies show that the Third Sector Referral Coordinator Team utilise a person-centred approach to provide a holistic assessment of patient needs and refer patients to the most appropriate support services within their local area. This is apparent in evidence from the Team, the ICC staff liaising with them, and the case studies provided.
• The Third Sector Referral Coordinators clearly have an extensive knowledge of the third sector services and have developed strong partnerships with a range of organisations across North Cumbria. It is evident that the Third Sector Referral Coordinator Team are now supporting clinical and care staff across the eight ICCs in North Cumbria.
• Having an honorary NHS contract has enhanced the Team’s ability to work collaboratively with health colleagues by updating patient records in real time and ensuring that information governance protocols are adhered to.
• The findings show that the Third Sector Referral Coordinator Team, and the Health and Welfare Telephone Support Service, are highly valued by ICC clinical and care staff. Key benefits for ICC staff include: a single point of access for patient referrals; a reduction in the time spent making patient referrals; and confidence in the knowledge that their patients will continue to be cared for by those with expertise of the third sector.
• The findings highlight the following key benefits for the patients who are referred to the Third Sector Referral Coordinator Team: a holistic assessment of individual needs; access to a wide range of appropriate support and information; the opportunity to build networks within their local community; and improvements to their quality of life through receiving appropriate support.
• The Health and Welfare Telephone Support Service was developed as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic to safeguard patients when being discharged from hospital, or when it was felt that they might benefit from support from third sector organisations. Despite the challenges of remote working throughout the pandemic, this service has successfully supported patients across North Cumbria. Referral data indicates that the service has been used consistently throughout the time it has been operating, and across a range of public and third sector organisations.
• The evidence collected not only suggests that the project been a success for all those involved, but also provides a clear sense of what else might be achieved with further funding. For example, long-term funding would enable the Third Sector Referral Coordinator Team to grow and expand the scope of their work across the ICCs, and to embed their service in a wider range of patient pathways.

Item Type: Report
Publisher: HASKE
Departments: Health and Society Knowledge Exchange (HASKE)
Depositing User: Laura Snell
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2022 09:29
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2022 09:30
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/6567

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