Southend’s Pioneering health and social care staff praised by Minister

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Melanie Craig, Norman Lamb MP and Dr Jose Garcia LoberaThe Government Minister for Care has praised the innovative work of health and social care staff during a visit to Southend on Wednesday 19 February.

Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP, Minister of State for Care and Support, was visiting the borough to see how the Pioneer project was progressing just over a year after the Government announced Southend as one of just 14 Pioneer areas in the country.

As a Pioneer area, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and NHS Southend Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are working with South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (SEPT), the hospital and the voluntary sector to develop better ways of delivering services in a more integrated and personalised fashion.

Mr Lamb said: “I had an excellent visit to the Southend Pioneer service.  It was great to see the energy and enthusiasm of health and care staff and hear about their how they are working together to make changes that have a real impact on improving services for local people.”

The Pioneer project aims to bring major benefits to patients and service users, particularly those who have multiple care needs. It will enable health and social care professionals from different organisations to work together seamlessly, so patients will receive a single, all-encompassing care package designed specifically for them. This will reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and enable them to remain independent in their own home for longer.

Dr José Garcia Lobera, Chair of NHS Southend CCG, said: “It was an extremely productive visit. We were able to talk to the Minister about many different aspects of the Pioneer project and explore various successes and challenges with him. He was very interested in the work we are doing here and the important difference we are making to the lives of local people.”

David Norman, executive councillor for adult social care, health and housing, says: “The council is very proud to be one of only 14 pioneers in the country and I am pleased that the Minster was able to see how we are putting our Pioneer plans into action to improve the lives of local people.”

As part of the visit, Mr Lamb met the borough's Single Point of Referral (SPoR) team. The Southend SPoR provides any health or social care professional a single contact point where they can access integrated,rapid community care to either prevent a patient's decline or their admission to hospital. It also supports patients’ recovery and helps them and other service users maintain their independence.