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3-Way Partnership Creates Opportunities To Drive Health and Social Care Outcomes Through Physical Activity

Essex County Council Adult Social Care, Sport For Confidence CIC and Active Essex have formed a county-wide strategic partnership to ensure all Essex citizens can be active, be engaged with their community, be happy and be independent.

The Prevention and Enablement Model (PEM) is a 12-month ‘test and learn’, Local Delivery Pilot (LPD) funded by Essex County Council Adult Social Care and Active Essex’ that tests how the health and social care system in Essex can hardwire physical activity into its business as usual. The initiative will provide evidenced base practice for sector providers to use and to build upon, improve outcomes for residents to enable independence, improve population health and develop communities that are inclusive. Sport For Confidence CIC has been appointed as the project’s specialist delivery partner.

Kelly Harman, LDP Delivery Manager, Active Essex LDP, says: “With the spread of Covid-19  threatening various degrees of lockdown, this winter is going to be tough for many people across the county, especially those facing additional challenges with both physical and mental health. We need a whole system approach, work to reset how our system partners link together, align our resources and share what works.

“PEM, working in collaboration with many other system partners in community health, social care and physical activity partners across Essex will ensure adults who are vulnerable and  or who have entered the healthcare system, can access the help and support they need to be able to maintain a good quality of life, despite the challenges of social isolation. The initiative will focus on a preventative approach centred around physical activity, to help reduce demand on the healthcare system. This learning can then be scaled up, across our network of providers in Essex and beyond”

Through the Sport For Confidence programme, physical activity is already having a hugely positive impact on the daily lives of hundreds of adults across the county, including those with learning disabilities, mental health issues, people living with dementia, autism, physical impairment or disability, and many other complex health needs.

Senior Occupational Therapist and Founder of Sport For Confidence, Lyndsey Barrett, says: “Sport For Confidence is already evidencing the positive effect community support services can have, not just on individuals, but also on alleviating the pressure placed on health and social care services. Through our work, it has been made clear, that a person-centred, whole-system approach to health care is what is needed to drive positive change on a community wide scale and that physical activity has a central role to play in delivery plans. This is the ethos behind PEM.”

The strategic partnership responsible for the delivery of PEM officially formed in August 2020. Over the next 12 months, the impact of PEM will be independently accessed by  the university of Essex.

Rebecca Jarvis, Lead Commissioner, Adult Social Care Essex County Council, says: “Physical activity plays such an important role in keeping us healthy, both in hearts and minds. Being active can help to connect us to the outdoors, the place we live and those around us. It helps grow confidence, build life skills and improve our health.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the biggest challenges facing our generation, and as we continue to respond locally, nationally and globally it’s important we keep health and wellbeing at the centre to this recovery. Health and Social Care need to think differently, to work with communities differently and to create the conditions that enable me to live, grow, adapt and flourish. Using physical activity as a tool in shaping and delivering care and support gives us the opportunity to understand a very different relationship with citizens.”

PEM is an important project for the Essex Local Delivery Pilot (LDP) which is using innovation to get thousands of people more active so they can live better lives. The Essex LDP is managed by Active Essex and is testing a range of approaches that will be replicated across Essex if they are successful.

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