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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-18-11

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

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Mersey Care forms new social prescribing partnership to develop its Life Rooms support

MERSEY Care NHS Foundation Trust has joined forces with tech for good company and social prescribing specialists Elemental Software to improve the way that it refers patients to help and support at its Life Rooms Centres, in Walton and Southport.  The Life Rooms is Mersey Care's state of the art centre for learning, recovery, health and wellbeing. In 2016, its centre in Walton opened its doors after the NHS Trust saved the historic Carnegie building at the former Walton Library in North Liverpool. Following its success, another centre opened in Southport in 2017.

As a leading Mental Health Trust and 1 of only 7 NHS England Mental Health Global Digital Exemplars, Mersey Care will use Elemental's unique digital technology to transform its referrals process through its Pathways Advisors, who are based at the Life Rooms and help people using the centre to identify help and support on issues including finding employment, housing, managing money and enrolling on Recovery College courses.

The aim of the partnership is to enable more people to engage with the Pathways Programme, provide them with more choice and to free up capacity for the Life Rooms team to help the people that need it. It will also enable Mersey Care to better monitor and track the progress and outcomes of the referrals it makes to understand the difference that its support is making to people's lives.

Michael Crilly, Director of Social Inclusion at Mersey Care, said:- "The Life Rooms has been a huge success, with over 22,521 people visiting the centre in Walton since its opening, showing the huge need for this kind of support at the heart of the communities in which we work. Quality, recovery and wellbeing are at the heart of everything we do, and we are delighted to be working with Elemental to enhance the way that we deliver support through our Pathways Programme, significantly improving the way that we make referrals to non medical support and crucially, enabling us to monitor and measure the real impact of these interventions."

Elemental Co-Founder, Leeann Monk-Ozgul, added:- "Mersey Care is an innovative organisation that is working to tackle some of the most challenging mental health issues, and it is great to see that social prescribing is playing such a big part in the development of the support it offers at the Life Rooms. Social prescribing is increasingly being see as the way forward in delivering real and lasting health and wellbeing improvements in communities, and our software aims to makes it easier to refer, connect, support and measure the impact referrals. We are looking forward to working with Mersey Care to support its Pathways Programme and add real value in the way that it works with and refers patients to different sources of support in their communities."

Elemental Software was set up by co-founders Leeann and Jennifer Neff last year, following years of experience as community development workers in Derry, Northern Ireland, after they recognised that the people that most needed support to manage their own health and wellbeing were often not engaging in the programme and services on their doorstep. They developed a cloud based platform that connects health and social professionals, social prescribers, patients and providers of community based programmes and services to provide commissioners with the freedom and flexibility to shape social prescribing initiatives based on their community infrastructure and needs of their citizens. They work with a wide range of organisations across health, housing and community development to advise on the development of social prescribing programmes and to embed their unique technology to enable organisations to better refer to, and measure, social prescribing activities in their local areas.


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