Collaboration and working across boundaries: Colwyn Bay Health Care and Wellbeing Precinct

When we heard about Colwyn Bay Health Care and Wellbeing Precinct at the All Wales Continuous Improvement Awards, we instantly knew that we wanted to share what they are doing further. John Hardy will be running a workshop on their work at our Housing and Sport: Improving wellbeing and providing better value for public money seminar on 3 March in Cardiff and 26 March in Llanrwst, and you can hear more about their work below.

Colwyn Bay Health Care and Wellbeing Precinct / Canolfan Gofal Iechyd a Lles Bae Colwyn The project, originally a partnership between Therapy Services and through them to the Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust, Age Concern and Conwy County Borough Council and now between Conwy County Borough Council and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, has attracted wide ranging support from numerous agencies in the health and social welfare field and is seen as a ground breaking initiative in the application of physical activity to the prevention and management of chronic conditions, thus lessening the burden on statutory health and social care services

The term ‘Health Precinct’ refers to the development of a place where health and Social Care professionals can work together with leisure professionals to develop innovative and evidence-based solutions to improve the health of the citizens of Conwy through physical activity; whether for ill health prevention, exercise by prescription, chronic disease management or rehabilitation from acute or chronic ill health. This collaboration supports a wide range of citizens to move seamlessly from medically supported therapy to community based physical activity. As part of the on-going evolution of this concept and building on previous work, Conwy County Borough Council’s Social Care and Education Services and Community Development Service are currently working in partnership to develop a programme of community wellbeing activities and information, advice and support to enable citizens to prevent ill-health and promote self-caring and individual ownership of support interventions based on the what matters conversation. Going forward this approach will also be delivered in collaboration with the third and independent care sectors.

What impact has it had?

Groups and individuals who have benefited and will experience greater health benefits as a result of the Health Precinct programme include those living with long term conditions and those undergoing cardiac rehabilitation. The programmes within the Health Precinct help to tackle depression and loneliness and also help participants to build their confidence levels and support people remaining active and living in their own homes. In the long term we hope that this self-caring approach with also lessen the burden of unscheduled care required from health and social care services.

Two examples of programmes developed and being delivered at the Health Precinct:

Aqua Therapy/Warm Water Modality

The Aqua Therapy Warm Water Modality pilot study conducted jointly by leisure staff, Therapy Services from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Public Health Wales has set the standard for how these projects should be planned and implemented in the future.
Following the study a pathway has been specifically developed aimed at clients with chronic muscle / joint pain which provides far greater access to clients by utilising the local authority swimming facilities.

Early Onset Dementia

The early onset dementia project links closely with the Elderly Mental Infirm Units at Bryn Hesketh and Bodnant. Conwy County Borough Council has developed an exercise class specifically for clients who have been diagnosed with Early Onset Dementia.

The Health Precinct initiative is underpinned by a commitment to strengthen community-based care and a more equal relationship between patient and professionals. It also helps to change the relationship between health social care services and the public, characterised by a shared decision making for care and support with citizens to promote appropriate intervention as well as a securing improved health and wellbeing outcomes. This approach is in line with co-production principles.

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