A Basis for a National Health and Well-Being Policy?

The Frome Model of Enhanced Care is a GP focussed, community serving and using way of creating, assessing and delivering comprehensive health and well-being skills, services and attitudes, in, with and for a community, at a low to negative net cost. Its administration is remarkably inclusive, heterarchical or flat.

It is so attractive that it merits awareness, analysis, adoption and adaption to spread its remarkable and measured attributes.

It has delivered 5 years of medical care with social cohesion. It saves money and is more enjoyable! Somerset CCG reckons some £2 million saved. Hospital admissions have gone down although admissions rose in the rest of Somerset. There is a dedicated website and the positive use and filing of e-mails, phone calls etc. The surgery uses its database and print-outs to avoid referral forms and avoidable delays and uses statistics to gauge starting points and outcomes. Time, including that for relevant conversations is costed.

The belief and enthusiasm of “outreach” staff is such that they carried on working during a three month gap in pay.

Frome is small enough to innovate: large enough to make a difference.

Frome is a lively market town with a strong street market focus with an independent council which has part funded this project and encouraged it. It funds training for volunteer “Community Connectors” who are vital for the project/team- over six hundred of them. The project is helped by the building of a new surgery next to the hospital. The centrality of the surgery has facilitated outstanding medical conversations, record connectivity and a secure medical-legal base.

The watchwords are, “Practical, Emotional, Medical, Social”. There is a keen consciousness of the dangers of “Silo Attitudes” with a systematic primary care focus which is holistic, collaborative, “whole population” focussed. There is an energetic awareness and use of social and familial contacts.

The medical impact of isolation is the equivalent of smoking fifteen cigarettes a day.

Most support comes from social connections which improve patient care AND paid and volunteer carers’ enjoyment. Group cohesion and one to one working are paramount. For all involved a major tool for connection and function is conversation. There are three paid outreach persons/recruiters/”fixers”. Recruiters include streets and supermarkets in their “territory.” There are strong connections and shared plans with State and voluntary organisations such as C.A.B. Making lives feel and be worthwhile is paramount. There is “Talking Café” for social contact/conversation: the shy have volunteers for introductions and support. All the connections link across society and status.

Care is done with the person, not to the person.

There is a policy of assertive gap filling in the activity network. For only one patient a “Parkinson’s Club” was set up and became a national leader!

The interconnectivity of groups and their connections with the GPs creates awareness, drive and efficiencies. It encourages confidence and reduces “zero risk cultures”. The “whole-team approach” empowers patients/supported people and staff.

The power of relationships, including professional and volunteer home visits is developed and used for the evident benefit of the cared and the carers!

See Dr Helen Kingston’s account here: Frome, an experience of building a more compassionate community.

* Steve Trevathan is chairperson of Lyme Regis and Marshwood Vale Liberal Democrats.

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.

One Comment

  • Peter Hirst 6th Oct '18 - 1:58pm

    There can be little doubt that involving people in their own health improves it. Most of us know how to live more healthily. It is by utilising the strong social needs that we all have that we can encourage people to act on this knowledge.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • Chris Moore
    Out of interest, Martin, who was that leader?...
  • Martin Gray
    We could end up gaining a considerable number of seats in our target areas & losing our deposit in many others ... I remember a time when we had a leader w...
  • Joseph Bourke
    I was in Dorking, Surrey yesterday. One of the blue wall seats in play. There is a banner across the high street that reads elections coming soon. In the area ...
  • john hall
    Thanks for your reply Mick. I have to say that you - along with many others - have swallowed Israeli fake new. Hamas did NOT use rape and beheading of babi...
  • Nigel Quinton
    Isn't stealing signs a criminal offence? Why are people not reporting them to the police?...