How did Connect come about?

Connect is a way of working that brings health, social care, public service professionals and the wider community together across Suffolk. The aim is to transform health and care services to meet the challenges of a growing and aging population by 2020, and to support the vision of the Health and Wellbeing Board, that the Suffolk population live healthier and happier lives.

Organisations involved include clinicians (GPs, nurses and hospital doctors), social care professionals, councillors and representatives from local charities and groups, plus statutory organisations such as the police, local authorities and the ambulance service. Connect aims to bring all these together under one umbrella – simpler, increased value, better use of resources, and more helpful.

Four transformational outcomes have been identified as being more achievable through whole system integration at the locality level:

  • People manage their own health and social care with the right support when needed
  • Communities are easy and supportive places to live with a health or care need
  • The health and care system is co-ordinated and effective
  • Systems provide best value for money

What benefits are already being seen through Connect?

Video viewpoints:

Community Matron - Joyce Feltwell
Suffolk Community Health & Adult Community Services– Barry Gibson, Liz daw & Nicola Barton
General Practitioner (GP) - Dr Feltwell
Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust - Liz Ellis
Police - Grant Skeggs
I feel the benefit of Suffolk Family Carers being involved with the INT would be that as an organisation we are aware that there are many hidden carers in the community and we are unable to reach all of them. By working closely with and being involved with the INT we feel that we will have a further reach to family carers and that they will in turn benefit from the network and the partners involvedDavid Grimmer, Suffolk Family Carers
Connect provides an essential link point for me in my job. The contacts I’ve made through the meetings and the information I’ve learned have been really valuable in helping me do my job. Integration and co-production within services are absolutely essential in helping the community to achieve their goals, and Connect is an asset to the services we provide.Holly Granville, Local Area Coordinator for Saxmundham and Leiston, Localities & Partnerships Team, Public Health & Protection Directorate, Suffolk County Council.

As a professional, how does Connect affect me?

There are 13 Integrated Neighbourhood Teams (INTs) across east, west and south Suffolk who meet monthly to discuss the best ways in which to integrate and work with the local community. In addition, regular “Lunch n Learn” sessions are organised to provide an opportunity for professionals to get together to learn about each others organisations and shared topics.

A whole range of outcomes have already been achieved, for example, drop in clinics at GP practices, mental health professionals hot-desking at ACS, projects to help vulnerable people, regular meetings between professionals to help navigate services, simple equipment clinics and lots more. The aim of the INTs is for professionals to work together and with service users to provide the best outcomes. Each area is different, so local ideas of how to work most effectively is the key to success.

Connect INT areas:

Suffolk (all areas) map

Would you like to be involved?

We are keen to link more professionals and voluntary/community organisations into Connect, to build on the work that has already taken place and to further develop the Connect way of working. So, please contact us at info@connectsuffolk.co.uk if you would like to find out more.

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