GP practices in Sheffield have been given extra funding to help improve the health and wellbeing of people in their areas.

NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has given practices £600,000 as part of the CCG’s primary care transformation fund. The GP practices are working together in different groups known as ‘neighbourhoods’ to support the needs of their local residents. This is in addition to the £718K that the CCG awarded to neighbourhoods last year.

The money will be used to fund a number of neighbourhood projects including supporting young people with mental health and emotional wellbeing advice, early intervention for mental health illnesses in teenagers and adolescents, identifying reasons for early deaths in 25-39 year olds, improving the lives of people with dementia, social prescribing and tackling loneliness and reducing isolation in older people.

In Sheffield, practices, community and voluntary groups as well as social care and schools have joined together to form neighbourhood groups across the city, in order to bring together services and staff.

The idea behind neighbourhoods is to support people to gain control of their own health and wellbeing, helping them to live well and independently, reducing ill health as well as unnecessary hospital admissions.

Each neighbourhood covers a community of around 30,000 to 50,000 people. This means that neighbourhood teams are small enough that they know each other as well as their patients; it means they can provide seamless care and a mix of skills from hospital staff, mental health services, GPs and social care to name a few.

Dr Anthony Gore, Sheffield GP and Clinical Director for Care Outside of Hospital at the CCG, said: “I’m incredibly excited to announce this second allocation of money to our neighbourhoods. Our aim is to improve the health and wellbeing of people across Sheffield by commissioning more care and support into neighbourhoods - closer to where people live. By investing this money, our neighbourhoods can start working to achieve this, particularly tailoring services to meet the specific needs of their local residents.”

With this new investment, each of the neighbourhoods receiving funding will work on an individual project. The CCG will learn from the projects to see what works and what could be done differently.

Upper Don Valley is one of the neighbourhood areas to receive funding.

Upper Don Valley Neighbourhood Clinical Director and GP at Oughtibridge Surgery Dr Ruth Izard, said, “We are thrilled to have received this money which will see us working with a number of community organisations across our neighbourhood, including health and social care, education and leisure, to offer mental health and emotional wellbeing advice to young people aged 13 – 25 living in Oughtibridge, Deepcar, Stocksbridge and Wharncliffe side.

“In particular, we are working closely with Stocksbridge Leisure Centre to put on physical activity sessions such a football and keep fit for young people, which will also offer emotional support if needed. There will also be wellbeing cafes at secondary schools, drop in sessions at GP practices and individual counselling support.

“Teenage and young adulthood is a pivotal point in an individual’s life and can be fraught with challenges and difficulties. We hope that by increasing the number of young people exercising, using leisure facilities and attending face to face social groups and drop in sessions that it will improve young people’s health and wellbeing as well and reducing loneliness and social isolation.”

The seven projects:

·        The ‘Seven Hills’ Neighbourhood will focus on identifying the top seven causes of early deaths in patients aged 25-39 years through health checks and interventions tailored to their community.  They plan to reduce the barriers to accessing support by training local volunteers to deliver tailored support, offering a helping hand to patients with identified needs within their community and using these community members to encourage engagement with existing intervention schemes.  Volunteers will provide a trusted face and community language support where needed to help break down barriers.

·        The ‘Heeley Plus’ Neighbourhood will focus on developing social prescribing and how to address the wider determinants of health in their area.

·        The ‘SAPA5’ Neighbourhood will be focusing on improving care for the frail and elderly.

·        The ‘Network North’ Neighbourhood will be focusing on early intervention for mental health illnesses in teenagers and adolescents.

·        The ‘Upper Don Valley’ Neighbourhood will be supporting young people, age 13 – 25, to lead happy, healthy and fulfilling lives by offering them mental health and emotional wellbeing advice.

·        The ‘Porter Valley’ Neighbourhood will be working in partnership with Age UK to develop practical support to reduce isolation, promote independence and encourage people to self-manage to age well and live healthier for longer.

·        The ‘GPA1’ Neighbourhood will be improving the lives of people with dementia.