The geographical area of the New Deal for Communities in Islington is quite a lot bigger than the one in Haringey. We had started off by thinking that Get Well UK services would always be available in NHS primary care settings. We thought this would help patients feel safe, and it would be easier for them. We also thought that it would help the process of integration as NHS staff and the complementary therapists would have a chance to bump into each other and discuss things. Seems we were right about all of these things.
However, one of the local representatives on the NDC Health Committee pointed out that for many people travelling is not an easy thing to do, especially if they are in pain, have mobility problems or are fearful. She was our favourite kind of person, because she pointed out the problem and had a solution – the local community centre which provides services for older people, which had a spare health treatment room and was in the centre of the community we were working in.
We had our first foray into working in another centre. There are pros and cons. Typically community centres are welcoming, clean and not too clinical. These factors can really help. But we do miss the chance for the practitioners to talk to the GPs, and do patients think differently of it? We didn’t find out this time but perhaps we will on another project.
Once again an independent audit showed a significant improvement in healthcare. We had 86 surverys completed by referreing GPs (57% return rate).
81% of GPs reported that their patients' health improved.
79% reported that the service had an impact on their workload.
100% wanted the service to be continued.
So did the PCT facilitate this? No, they didn't.
Read the South Islington Report. An independent audit by Hal Andrews, Dr Dione Hills and Professor David Peters.