Scheme set for roll-out

A COMMUNITY scheme that aims to help people live more independently is set to be rolled out in a £680,000 pilot.

Connected Care was launched in the Owton area of Hartlepool in 2008 with the aim of using “navigators” as a first point of contact for residents with health and social care problems.

The service, which aims to keep people out of hospital or if they have just left then to keep them at home, also links people to specialist help.

It has been such a success that it will be rolled out as a pilot scheme in the north and central areas of town over the next two years.

Details of were the services will be based are yet to be confirmed.

Other services offered by Connected Care include a magazine which goes to every home in the ward, a handyperson repair service, out reach sessions and a benefits and welfare advice service.

There is also a partnership with the Accent Foundation Trust to refurbish flats and support vulnerable young people with their tenancies and a Supported Access to Independent Living Service (SAILS) which supports vulnerable older people.

Connected Care, which is embedded in Manor Residents’ Association, in Kilmarnock Road, is a partnership between residents, ward councillors and community associations.

Labour councillor Ged Hall, Hartlepool Borough Council’s portfolio holder for adult and public health services, approved plans to roll out the programme and its progress will be independently reviewed.

Coun Hall said: “I think it is fair to say that most of the people that have been involved in or had some contact with Connected Care would agree that this is an excellent model for delivering services.

“Connected Care has been independently evaluated by Durham University and government ministers have also praised it.”

He added that voluntary and community sector groups must be given the chance to get involved when the pilot is rolled out.

Connected Care is funded by the council, PCT and other sources drawn in by a community interest company, Who Cares (NE).

which was set up last year.