Happy Healthy Communities

The Justlife team has recently been involved with delivering a project about Community Oriented Primary Care for Blakburn with Darwen Primary Care Trust.

Using consultancy skills and expertise around understanding and engaging communities, Justlife staff worked with Chapel Street on the “Happy Healthy Communities” project. The project has enabled Bentham Road Health Centre, Blackburn, to pioneer a new way of working within the local community, joining forces with residents, voluntary groups and local businesses to improve people’s health.

The 12 month project involved community asset mapping; staff, community and patient consultation; the creation of a website about local activities and services – happyhealthycommunities.co.uk ; training; the establishment of new services at the health centre and the creation and implementation of a social marketing campaign to encourage volunteering.

Happy Healthy Communities is helping health centre staff and GPs actively support people in the community to provide activities that will benefit health, ranging from family support to sports clubs. This means that as well as providing medical help, they can also refer patients to groups that can support their wider health and wellbeing needs and prevent future illness.

This way of working is being driven forward by Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). CCG Chair, Dr Chris Clayton, said: “Our vision is that GP practices should be the hub of their local community, enabling patients to easily access support for the wider issues that affect their health, like housing, debt and leisure. This ‘one stop shop’ approach will keep patients out of hospital and help them to have the right care in or close to their surgery.”

The Happy Healthy Communities project is one of several consultancy projects that Justlife has undertaken, using expertise to assist communities and organisations.