North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust (North Mid) has been working with Connected Communities and community groups in Enfield and Haringey to build a Community Advice Hub, helping local people access support services. Working together, all the partners will have a better understanding of the issues affecting their local community.
The Hub, which was officially opened yesterday by Dr Nnenna Osuji, chief executive of North Mid, aims to improve access to local authority led community and voluntary sector support and services. This will enable patients, local residents and staff at North Mid access to early help and preventative support on issues such as, finance, housing and employment.
Following on from their initial conversation with a Community Advice Hub representative, residents will either be offered direct support immediately, offered a follow up session in a community location, or given advice and signposted to the appropriate service. Support varies from connecting residents to national agencies, helping complete online forms, GP registration or acting a liaison to get the best outcome, for example with a private landlord.
Recent research carried out by Healthwatch Haringey highlights various challenges that local residents face. This includes finances, social isolation and mental wellbeing. Those who would like support can be introduced to the Community Advice Hub by North Mid staff via phone or email, or they can visit it in the hospital. The Hub is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The seven local community organisations involved in the project are:
- Connected Communities – Haringey Council
- Enfield Citizen’s Advice Bureau
- Age UK Enfield
- Mind in Enfield
- Enfield Carer’s Centre
- Enfield Connections
- Haringey Carers First
Dr Nnenna Osuji, Chief Executive Officer, at North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, said: “Around 20% of someone’s health is determined by the clinical care they receive whilst the rest is associated with socio-economic factors, health behaviours and the environment they live in. We want to provide outstanding care for local people and that means, not just providing a healthcare service, but also helping people get support for the issues that might be contributing to their ill health.
“Collaboration is key to achieving this as it allows us to do even more than we can individually. The Community Advice Hub is a fantastic example of how working with the local community and forming valuable working relationships with our partners can help achieve better long-term outcomes for local residents and service users. Our hub will help provide the support and guidance they need to lead a healthier and happier life.”
Cllr das Neves, Lead Member for Adult Social Care, Health and Wellbeing in Haringey said: ‘During the pandemic, we saw more than ever how important working closely and directly alongside the community is, and we continue to work with local residents to design solutions together to the challenges we face. Having a base at North Middlesex has enabled Haringey’s Connected Communities team to link with key medical staff and other organisations to offer support to local residents when and where they need it. We look forward to greater collaboration going forward.’
Reducing health inequalities is one of North Mid’s many areas of focus in their new Patient First approach. The new initiative is a way of working which ensure patients are at the absolute focal point of everything the Trust does.