Our Place Wye is concentrating on the three following project areas:
The Wye Community Connector will use local knowledge and contacts to develop a new, 'joined up' advice and support service, and link individuals with the right organisations to help their specific needs. This service will enable Wye, as an already caring and supportive community with good social networks, to become an even more resilient and inclusive place in the future.
The primary purpose of this section of the website is to support the Community Connector, and to act as an accessible reference point for local information.
Although Our Place Wye programme has adult social care provision as its overarching theme, its first aim is to promote wellbeing and raise the quality of life for older residents, those of working age with disabilities, their carers and families. The programme includes a range of preventative community health measures aimed at maintaining the independence of older people, and to delay their need for support, healthcare treatments and residential care.
Subsequent Our Place Wye projects will, in time, encompass related issues, including community cohesion and engagement; disability; enterprise, employment and economic development; health and wellbeing; social isolation; loneliness, the digital divide and access to transport.
Our Place Wye's first priority was to establish its Community Connector service during 2015, in partnership with Kent County Council, Ashford Clinical Commissioning Group (ACCG) and Wye Surgery. Although this pilot is the first such service in Kent, it is built on the experience gained by similar and well-established Village Agent schemes operating elsewhere, notably in Gloucestershire. Significantly, in Wye the Community Connector's role will grow to cover a wider and deeper remit than the Village Agent schemes. This reflects the new duties that the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (the Care Act) places on Kent County Council, and the increasing impact of austerity across all public services.
In essence, the Care Act is redirecting resources to meet the health and social care needs of individuals and their carers. In future, a more person-centred approach will replace the existing models, which only provide standard services. The NHS Five Year Plan also recognises the importance of prevention as part of the role of the NHS. In summary: