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A great local service for local people - Diane Edmonds

As a volunteer representing the public it’s good to be helping promote a really useful asset for people in North East Lincolnshire: the Single Point of Access (or SPA). 

This service has come about through conjoining health, social and well-being advice services for adults and can assist with any queries that you might have relating to these. 

The service provides 24/7 access by phone (01472 256256) and drop-ins are being developed for general wellbeing support and advice at community venues including the Val Waterhouse Centre (which you might know as the Freeman Street Resource Centre) on Kent Street. In the future, we are planning to offer the same level of advice and support on the web.

Marc Wilson, Business Manager for Focus Independent Adult Social Care, explained that the phone line operates 24/7 throughout the entire year.  He went on to say that it’s manned by highly skilled trained staff who, around 70% of the time, are able to resolve queries immediately. The remainder are referred to a triage system offered by a multi-disciplinary team consisting of social workers, nurses, occupational therapists and mental health practitioners, who work alongside call operators.

He added that feedback on the service has been extremely good: “I was answered straight away and I’m very happy with the service I received, very polite, very confident and very helpful.  Thank you”

As a former carer myself the following really struck home with me, one lady had previously had seventeen different phone numbers to use in order to get help. She talked with relief about how much easier it is just calling the one number, who then went on to contact the appropriate services and arrange whatever might be needed. 

A gentleman I met recently, who shares caring for an old friend, told me his experience of using the service:  “Over…last Christmas, New Year period… my dear friend went walkabout three times in one day. Whilst there is Carelink on the door I was concerned about her going out during the night…so I was advised to inform the "care team" on 256256. Thankfully, they called during the early hours on at least two occasions to ensure she was tucked up in bed.  I am most grateful that such a procedure is in place…”

Fellow Community Forum volunteer Christine Forman has worked long and hard with many others on the transformation from an already successful telephone service into the new multi-access and multi-agency format the SPA has become.  Representing members of the public she was instrumental in gaining the walk-in access and talked about the cooperation of the different agencies listening and working together to provide this great resource.

I think we’re very lucky to have this local service for people of NE Lincolnshire and the wealth of knowledge available is there to help reassure, signpost and advise on a wide range of health and wellbeing issues.  The fact that all those dealing with enquiries are under one roof offers a truly joined-up service which, when needed, we can all take advantage of.

Diane Edmonds is a community representative with North East Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group. There are over 2,500 members working with North East Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group to make sure that your views are listened to every time a decision is made on services in the area.

We’re always looking for new members to join Accord.

Email:  NYHCSU.Accord@nhs.net
Phone: 0300 3000 567
Write: ACCORD, Athena Building, 5 Saxon Court, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, DN31 2UJ

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