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Self Care Week: How health and care services have adapted during the pandemic

Posted: 18th November 2020

This week is Self Care Week, the annual awareness week which aims to increase people’s ability to look after their own health and wellbeing.

Organised by the Self Care Forum, Self Care Week provides an opportunity for healthcare professionals and health organisations to talk to patients and the public about self-care and explain how they can effectively look after their own health.

Yorkshire & Humber AHSN is working with colleagues across the North East and Yorkshire on a project to evaluate the impact of changes that took place during the pandemic in order to deliver health and care services in a safe way for both patients and staff.

This project involves close collaboration with colleagues at North East & North Cumbria AHSN and their North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System, and the stakeholders involved include South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System, West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership, Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership. The project aims to identify valuable learning that could inform short, medium and long-term plans.

As part of this work, Rapid Insights reports have been developed with each partner to highlight some of the innovative ways services have been adapted in response to COVID19. The reports include some valuable examples of how services have changed to better support patients and provide tools that patients could use to improve their health and wellbeing:

Stroke services in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw

Stroke services rely heavily on face-to-face patient assessments, but in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw (SYB) they found ways to provide quality treatment to vulnerable patients through remote provision of care. Launched in January 2020, the Stroke Hosted Network’s response to the pandemic involved bringing together services, managers, clinicians, and leaders from across the system to make tangible plans to ensure that stroke services continued to provide high quality care. Community based stroke services began to offer rehabilitation using remote technology which ensured that patients continued to receive the support, guidance and rehabilitation they needed.

“Everything that we try to do and every adaptation that we made has patients at the centre of it. We considered how we could provide the best quality service to our patients and their families, how could we support them during this really critical time in terms of their stroke, but also in the background of what was happening in the world with COVID.” SYB Stroke Hosted Network Manager

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Wellbeing

As soon as COVID-19 was recognised as a pandemic, West Yorkshire Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP) recognised what effect this would have on the healthcare sector and the need to optimise the health and wellbeing of employees to ensure resilience during the pandemic. A health and wellbeing offer for staff across the region was developed. As the project had already started in Bradford and Craven, this was used as a blueprint to build upon in order to scale up across the WY&H footprint.

From week one of lockdown, a weekly meeting was set up for all staff with an open-door policy so anyone with an interest in the health and wellbeing of the workforce could contribute, regardless of their job. The group also included experts such as psychologists and therapists. The focus was on all sectors including voluntary, local authority and NHS. All suggestions were considered ranging from prevention and self-management, to therapeutic interventions. A webpage was created that could be accessed by all six Places.

COPD services across Humber, Coast and Vale

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) affects approximately 2.2% of the population in Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership (HCV HCP) and contributes to approximately 11.3% of unplanned hospital admissions for the region. During the pandemic services had to adapt the way they delivered pulmonary rehabilitation. For instance, in the North Lincolnshire area, some people living in rural areas struggle to access hospital and GP appointments and clinics. In response to this, North Lincolnshire CCG worked in partnership with Concept Health and Manchester Metropolitan University to pilot a Virtual Reality (VR) Pulmonary Rehabilitation programme to address this. Concept Health provided North Lincolnshire CCG with ‘kits’, which included VR headsets and wrist devices. Participating GPs identified qualifying COPD patients and provided them with the kits to participate in a six-week VR programme at home. The programme allows the patient to access modules via the VR headset, including educational modules about how to manage their COPD symptoms.

North East and North Cumbria Mental Health and Welling Support Line and Booklet

North East and North Cumbria (NENC) ICS knew that COVID-19 was likely to cause negative mental health consequences across their population. However, the help available was generally for those experiencing a mental health crisis and there was less support for those with lower-level wellbeing concerns. NENC ICS helped to set up a mental health support line. This was done to pick up 111 calls where people have a non-crisis mental health need. This approach was further supported by the ICS suicide prevention work stream who worked in collaboration with a local charity to produce a mental health and wellbeing booklet during COVID-19, which was delivered to every household across the area. Talking about the booklet, a resident said “one of the best sources of information I have received through the whole COVID-19 period.”

Find out more information about our Evaluation and Reset work.