Housing Social Prescribing Case Study: Bromford Housing

Housing Social Prescribing Case Study: Bromford

Inspiring people to be the best they can, with the right home, and the right relationships

Bromford are a creative non-profit network for health, housing, care, and education. They provide services for 90,000 customers and deliver one of the largest housing association-led new homes programmes throughout the South West and Midlands, with a planned investment of £1.5bn in 14,000 new homes over the next decade.

As part of the Urban Challenge Wellbeing Award, and in collaboration with Elemental Software, Bromford, launched an innovative social prescribing pilot earlier this year.

The Challenge

The 12 week pilot, which was commissioned by the West Midlands Combined Authority, Digital Wellbeing and Urban Challenge aimed to make the West Midlands a better place to live and work using digital social prescribing technology.

 

For Bromford, it was vital to put the customer at the heart of the pilot. They believe that with the right home and the right relationship, everyone can achieve more. Working in collaboration with our team and using our Core platform, Bromford aimed to take a ‘localities’ approach, meaning that their Neighbourhood Coaches would work closely with customers in specific areas to develop strong relationships and help them to manage their own health and wellbeing using community based programmes and services.

The objectives

Provide enhanced support through better connectivity, personalisation and self-directed support methods

Use digital technology to improve health and well-being outcomes in the area

Demonstrate how digital platforms can be used to support better mental health and well-being outcomes across the region

“The impact of poor housing on mental and physical health is well evidenced so we were excited to kick off this pilot with Bromford. We worked closely with their incredible team and quickly established that we shared a vision to improve residents’ lives through social prescribing. Bromford are an inspiring, innovative and forward thinking organisation that strongly recognise the relationship between health and housing. We are blown away by the amazing results they achieved in such a short space of time using our Core social prescribing platform and we can’t wait to see what’s to come in the near future.”


Jennifer Neff, Elemental Software Co-founder

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The Solution

 

The pilot was conducted by two Neighbourhood Coaches within the Black Country locality, with the aspiration that the approach would be embedded further afield, leading to empowered communities taking control of their own health outcomes.

 

 

 

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Using Elemental’s Core platform, Neighbourhood Coaches had the ability to instantly connect customers to social prescribing programmes and services which would help them to thrive and grow, such as Citizens Advice Bureau, housing support, employment support and finance advice.

 

 

 

housing social prescribing case studyThe reporting feature allowed Neighbourhood Coaches to set a baseline for a customer’s social and mental wellbeing at the outset which then allowed them to monitor and measure the impact of social prescriptions in real time. By setting a baseline, Neighbourhood Coaches found that this gave further insight into the emotional character of the customer, allowing them apply their coaching skills to the individual in a personalised way.

 

 

social prescribing case studyUsing the reporting feature within Elemental Core, Neighbourhood Coaches could access, report and showcase detailed data analytics which then helped to demonstrate the impact that the pilot was making in communities, shape the social prescribing pilot and identify areas which required further support.

The Results

target housing social prescribingThroughout the 12 week pilot, Bromford identified multiple success stories as a result of connecting individuals into community based support using Elemental’s digital social prescribing platform.

 

target housing social prescribingAfter having to give up her job because her daughter had become ill, a Bromford customer began to experience stress and financial difficulty. Upon receiving a letter from the Bailiffs due to unpaid Council Tax arrears, the customer turned to the Bromford Neighbourhood Coach team to seek advice.

 

target housing social prescribingThe customer was connected to a Money Adviser by a Neighbourhood Coach to help her manage her finances and work out a suitable payment scheme which would solve the issue. With the support of her Neighbourhood Coach and Money Advisor, the customer has resolved the situation and her mental health has improved as a result of the referral.

 

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Now, the customer is receiving further support to help her with her budgeting and finances.

 

 

target housing social prescribingAnother Bromford customer has also experienced a positive improvement in their mental health and wellbeing, following a referral to a Skills Coach. The customer was unable to secure a full time job which would help her to become more financially secure and as a result, her mood was low.

 

target housing social prescribingFollowing a referral from her Neighbourhood Coach, the customer was connected with a Bromford Skills Coach who helped her to write her CV and complete several application forms. Since working with the Skills Coach, the customer has now found full-time work as a carer. The customer believes that the referral has ‘made life 100% better’ and she is now able to have more disposable income.

For the 17 customers participating in the pilot, 21 services were prescribed

Of those returning responses 65% experienced positive movement in their mental health and wellbeing after receiving their social prescription

Of customers visited by the Neighbourhood Coaches, 14.05% choose to take up a social prescribing programme or service

Using the Duke Social Support Index, the largest improvement for a customer was an increase of 21 points in their overall wellbeing score. This was the result of receiving a referral to a Employment Coach social prescription which gave them opportunities to talk to someone about problems at work or housework, discuss personal or family problems and talk about money matters

Considering the engagement rate of Bromford customers (14.05%), if applied across the board, Bromford estimate that around 3,249 of 23,127 customers could be interested in a receiving a social prescription that would lead to lifestyle and wellbeing improvements.

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Next Steps

Building on the success of their social prescribing pilot scheme, Bromford are interested to learn more about how the WMCA see the progression of social prescribing or connecting communities within the wider West Midlands.

Customers receiving a social prescription were connected to an existing service within Bromford’s offer as part of our existing Neighbourhood Coaching Model. The part that was particularly interesting for us was understanding the difference this made. Whilst the customer experience may not have been too different, the Elemental software did give us and the customer time to really understand how much difference the prescription would make. Being part of the pilot has really helped us to understand the value of the connections made to services both within Bromford and externally, like the CAB, giving us greater insight into the approach we have in our communities.


Vicky Green, Head of Localities, Black Country


We can help

We know that every social prescribing programme is different as it responds to the needs of each unique community and some communities are at different stages in their social prescribing journeys.

Depending upon where you are with your social prescribing project, we can help you;

Identify what gaps exist i.e. training, funding etc

Overcome challenges or barriers for social prescribing

Understand and embrace potential opportunities and benefits to the Person, NHS, Council and the VCSE sector

Help develop your vision and strategy – where you want to be and how you are going to do this

Determine the best way to roll out social prescribing and/or digital

More than just a platform

Our team has helped over 100 organisations shape and deliver their approach to social prescribing across England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, the Middle East and soon to be Finland.

We were selected to help the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, develop his vision for social prescribing in London. 

Some of the team who will be supporting you in your quest to mainstream social prescribing are listed below:

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Jennifer Neff

Co CEO

Jennifer has over 17 year’s experience in extensive engagement and consultation with vibrant and diverse stakeholder groups drawn. Her work has informed strategies for renewal – economic, physical and social, building stronger and more vibrant communities.

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Leeann Monk

Co CEO

Leeann has over 15 years experience in community development & health, engaging and activating the hardly reached across areas of disadvantage in particular families, older people at risk of isolation, carers and children at risk of or suffering from obesity.

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Clare Cooper

Project Manager

Clare has held a number of roles in community health improvement aiming to reduce health inequalities and improve the health and well-being of the community.

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Denise Dillon

Head of Projects

Over 16 years experience working within the community and voluntary sector, working in community development, mental health, training and project management working with some of the most marginalised communities in Northern Ireland.

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Phil Veasey

Community Partner

Phil has a strong background in scaling high impact, sustainable strategies and programmes in local communities including ‘Sportivate’ – a major Olympic Legacy Programme and The National Mini Tennis Programme, now the way children are introduced to the sport globally.

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