Community hubs created to combat coronavirus crisis here to stay as ‘new normal’ – Bury Times

Posted: April 29, 2020 at 9:45 pm

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COMMUNITY hubs created to combat the coronavirus crisis are set to stay as a new neighbourhood model of providing public services starts to take shape.

Every community will have a permanent hub which will be made up of volunteers with support from local authorities to help set its own agenda, its priorities and to organise the capacity to respond to their needs.

Residents are already able to contact their community hubs for help with food and medicine supplies if they are clinically vulnerable to COVID-19.

But now, these hubs, which are currently staffed by 100 council workers and 500 volunteers, will offer wider wellbeing support for everyone including befriending support, self-help guidance and other wellbeing materials.

Bury Councils deputy chief executive Lynne Ridsdale said the community hubs are already established and their work is going really well.

She said: We all feel theres a potential gap for people who dont meet the threshold for formal support but just need some social support someone to talk to.

The social impacts [of coronavirus] are coming through and we need a way of managing that as well.

We talked about the concept of a neighbourhood model before so now, lets be ambitious and grab the opportunity.

Over the coming weeks,20,000 leaflets will be produced and displayed in high footfall areas, such as shops and surgeries, to make clear that community hubs can offer support with food and medical supplies as well as general wellbeing advice and support.

In addition, the leader of the council will write toall Bury residents aged 70 and above to promote the offer on a targeted basis.

All requests for help and engagement as a result of this promotion will be received by the councils contact centre which will have a structured triage process to direct queries to either community hubs or specialist services according to requirement.

This process will integrate the wider mental health support system which is being expanded.

Requests for food, medical supplies or general wellbeing will be managed by the hubs which will direct peopleto volunteer help, self-service advice or online resources, and thoserequestingbefriending support will be directed to Age UK Bury, with whom the council has an existing service arrangement.

Chief executive Geoff Little said that the council is already looking at how it will adjust to the new normal once the coronavirus outbreak is contained.

He said: We are not through this by any stretch of the imagination. We have to keep focused on response as well as the recovery phase.

But to bring together the integrated neighbourhood teams for health and care and integrate community hubs we could only dream of doing that before COVID-19. We need to make that the new normal.

During the emergency response the hubs will be staffed by more than 100 council staff and a network of over 500 volunteers.

Over time, the intention is that the hubs are led by community groups and individual volunteersthemselves with minimal council support.

Bury NHS clinical commissioning group (CCG) chair, Dr Jeff Schryer, revealed last week that people have already started to seek help from community hubs for mental health support without seeing their GPs .

He added:Our trajectory has been blown off course, but its not been blown in the wrong way.

COVID-19 has been very challenging but its also brought some opportunities and as we start to move towards recovery, theres going to be some really big challenges but there will be some real opportunities as well.

Bury Council and CCG have given the green light to establish five neighbourhood networks across the borough, each of which will be comprise of three interconnected teams made up of the existing integrated health teams together with permanent community hubs and a third new network for all the public service people working in an area.

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Community hubs created to combat coronavirus crisis here to stay as 'new normal' - Bury Times

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April 29th, 2020 at 9:45 pm

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