Care Navigator introduced to Millom

Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust have introduced a new Care Navigator, Kerri Simpson within the Millom and Duddon Valley area after its success in other NHS Trusts around the country.

Kerri, an experienced carer and people’s advocate has taken on the role of supporting patients within the community and enhancing wellbeing, whilst providing social interventions for those at risk of poor health.

It is anticipated that introducing this role will see a reduction in avoidable GP appointments and hospital admissions as well as an overall improvement in community wellbeing.

Kerri Simpson said:

“Most of the time there is something that can be done to improve an individual’s wellbeing and it is my job to find that something. It is important to look at the bigger picture including the different elements to people’s lives, if someone has become socially isolated because they are unable to travel to church, I can signpost appropriate taxi services. In some cases people just need to know what activities are available to them locally. It is these small changes that can lead to bigger changes.”

The Care Navigator role has been developed so that the community have someone to act on their behalf at all times, taking their personal needs into consideration. An individual approach is used; Kerri spends about 6 weeks with each patient finding out what can be done to improve their wellbeing.

Kerri Simpson added:

“I can connect people with a vast range of services and groups in the area such as West Cumbria Carers, taxi services including those specialising in wheel chair safety and dog sitting services. I can also be the link between people and different social clubs offered by Age UK at the Bradbury Centre and other organisations in the area including; Millom and district flower club, bingo club, art group and sports for the disabled group.”

The new role is supported by the local Age UK branch. Linda Chapples from Age UK West Cumbria said:

“The Bradbury Centre site in St. George’s Road, Millom acts as a Health & Wellbeing ‘Hub’ providing access to community based services and support, which underpins the organisation’s ethos to promote and support ‘active ageing’ and help people to‘love later life. The development of the newly appointed care navigator supports social prescribing and by working together we can ensure that people find the support they need”.

Referrals to the Care Navigator are through GP’s.