Northern Ireland’s Southern Health and Social Care Trust (SHSCT) has created a Community Navigator role which aims to support older people in maintaining and improving their health and well-being. After a successful pilot, the Trust worked with Skills for Health to further develop the Level 3 role, which is now ready to implement when funding becomes available.
Why develop the role?
In common with the whole of Northern Ireland, the population of older people in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust (SHSCT) area is increasing. Over-65s are projected to increase by more than 15% by 2021, placing more strain on services which are already under pressure. Early intervention and the promotion of health and wellbeing are vital in supporting older people and enabling them to live independently at home and in the community. The Trust has plans to develop a Community Navigator Service which will work in partnership with community and voluntary organisations to support older people in accessing the services that they need.
The aim of the new Level 3 Community Navigator role is to understand the needs of their patients, and to assist them in accessing help. It can also involve supporting them as they make their first visit to a community centre, for example. This approach is widely recognised to reduce the number of re-admissions to hospital and to enhance the care that older people receive on discharge.
Read the full case study in the attached document.