Health Connector Program
Seeking General Practices for the Health Connector Program
Are you interested in improving social connectedness for older people?
We are inviting practices to register an expression of interest to be a part of the Health Connector Program being implemented in the Blue Mountains and/or Penrith region.
Evidence demonstrates that without adequate social connections, older people have an increased risk of poorer mental health and wellbeing, negatively impacting on their physical health and use of health services. Therefore, following the success of the Health Connector program in the Hawkesbury area, we are implementing a Health Connector Program for older people who are experiencing social isolation or loneliness as a consequence of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Health Connectors work one-to-one with patients and carers on practical and achievable, person centred social network mapping, planning and goal setting. They act as a bridge between formal health care providers and informal care networks. They help people develop their social support networks, especially those who are isolated, vulnerable and at risk of isolation, especially during this COVID environment.
The Health Connector Program is aimed at:
- Promoting and coordinating connections to services and support in the Nepean Blue Mountains region for socially isolated older people; and
- Improving access to physical and mental health services for isolated older people with mental health problems, including those who may have experienced service disruption.
What is involved?
- Training participation – building capacity in practice nurses to identify and appropriately refer patients at risk of social isolation or socially isolated to build in sustainability of this in Practice.
- Community of practice – practice nurses supported working with peers around identification of older people that would benefit from mental and physical health support and; by coordinating connections to local supports, networks and services.
- Protected time – practice nurses to dedicate 10 hours per fortnight to the Program, inclusive of patient consultations and general practice staff support.
- New opportunities – potential for new patients to be referred to the Practice as an outcome from promotion by community connectors in the region.
- Involvement in an evaluation process of the overall program.
Participating practices will be remunerated for their commitment to the Program.
Submit your Expression of Interest
Submissions close 4 October, 2020