SINCE LAUNCHING A UNIQUE PARTNERSHIP WITH ELEMENTAL EARLIER THIS YEAR, SOUTH EASTERN HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE TRUST HAS EMBARKED ON A SUCCESSFUL DIGITAL SOCIAL PRESCRIBING PILOT WHICH HAS CONNECTED HEALTH, PRISON AND COMMUNITY TEAMS TO ADDRESS THE WIDER SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH WITHIN THE PRISON SERVICE.
A PERSON-CENTRED APPROACH TO CARE
The aim of the pilot was to embed the social prescribing model of care within Hydebank Wood College and offer a bespoke and person-centred approach to female health and wellbeing improvement.
Female patients were supported in co-designing their own health and wellbeing plans to engage in non-medical support such as sleep hygiene, relaxation classes and the Voice of Release programme.
The initial aspect of the pilot involved Elemental delivering a series of workshops, stakeholder mapping sessions, social prescribing training for prisons and the ability to use Elemental’s social prescribing Core platform. Staff within the prison were trained in making, managing and reporting on social prescribing referrals, with the ability to track and measure the uptake and impact.
Since partnering with Elemental, Hydebank Wood College is now able to gain a better understanding of the impact of the programmes and services that it commissions and build a library of activities and interventions suited to the needs of their patients and what matters to them.
David Dowds, Head of Purposeful Activity and Resettlement commented “We at Hydebank Wood are really excited about having the opportunity to work in partnership with the Trust and Elemental on this exciting project. We recognise the difficulties and issues those placed in our care face and the Elemental Social Platform has provided a structure to build on the benefits of social prescribing, improve and measure outcomes for those who took part in the pilot.”
ENHANCED PLANNING AND PARTNERSHIP WORKING
The team involved in the pilot include senior nursing staff, a mental health team, occupational therapists, wellbeing hub staff and senior nursing assistants.
With the aim of creating stronger links between departments and sectors in the prison service, the pilot has helped to gather and collate data which identifies trends and will better inform planning and co-commision services with other sectors.
Rachel Gibbs, Assistant Director of Prison Health, has been leading the project from within Hydebank. Rachel said “Elemental has helped us at every step along the way. Using the Elemental social prescribing platform has helped keep everyone on track. It provides us with the structure we need and highlights any deficits in planning, meaning we can now support our patients better. It has also helped internal teams to work more closely together which has boosted staff morale and teamwork.”
Speaking about the partnership, Elemental Co-founder Jennifer Neff said, “It has been fantastic to hear the positive feedback from the staff and patients at Hydebank Wood College and we are genuinely excited about this innovative partnership as Northern Ireland prisons lead the way in digital social prescribing. Using Elemental, stakeholders can now report on the vital impact that their social prescribing programmes and support services are making, enabling them to provide enhanced support to patients.”