Community Health Worker
Community Health Workers
Who are they?
Our Community Health and Wellbeing Workers are Asma, Maureen, Nahima and Comfort (from left to right in the picture on the leaflet) and you can see them around sometimes but they are mainly out and about in the community visiting patients at home.
What do they do?
It’s a new initiative that provides proactive outreach to the community in Churchill Gardens – at the moment we only have 4 part time CHWWs who cover around 500 households in the area, visiting households regularly and building trust and relationships to increase health literacy, uptake of prevention and screening opportunities, light social prescribing and chronic disease support as well as helping with housing, employment and other wider determinants and bringing in services as needed. They are the perfect bridge between midwives and health visitors, social workers and other professionals and the residents. They visit people in their households and can support people proactively when needed. They are non-medical trained and paid people from the same community who are excellent listeners, non-judgemental, knowledgeable about local services, enthusiastic and supportive and passionate about their community.
How can you involve them?
I’ve attached the building allocations for each of them – this should be in every consultation room and at reception and admin. If you come across a patient from these buildings please involve the CHWWs as you see fit, for example if it’s a newly registered patient you can help by introducing the patient and their household to the CHWW covering their building so they can get to know them, tell them how to use our services, what prevention opportunities there are. If someone has been discharged from hospital it might be a good idea to let the CHWW to call on them to check that they are ok, if there is an MDT meeting you can invite them in as they’ll know the patient and the patients’ context well.
Is it working?
The CHWWs have been building relationships and trust with patients for a year now and it’s too early for hard outcomes just yet. Nevertheless we can be cautiously optimistic as we’ve seen a 20% increase in uptake of vaccinations at household level of households who have a CHWWs compared to those who don’t (although numbers are still small), we are also going to quantify uptake of cervical screening and NHS checks, which we feel have increased, and reduction of non-medical GP consultations from patients in the area over the next 3 months. Monthly visit are also an intervention in themselves as loneliness is a major problem in CG and loneliness is a bigger risk factor for heart health than smoking. We’ve also seen early indications of DV prevention, improved medicines compliance, suicide prevention, potential hospital admission avoidance, carer support, child safeguarding and mental health support.
So please say hello when you see them and do use them for our patients in Churchill Gardens who are lucky enough to have a CHWWs while this initiative is being tested.