Midland Heart: A network model of care

How to build a community. Creative Commons Niall Kennedy
How to build a community. Creative Commons Niall Kennedy

A large part of being a member of a community  is communication. Be it a community based around location, interests or family. Staying in touch and being informed is integral to feeling involved – and to having the confidence to live as part of that community but independent enough to make decisions for yourself.

One of the case studies from the Smart Birmingham Roadmap really highlights just how important communication was to the independence and health and well-being of one Birmingham resident:

A circle of support requires open channels of communication to help everyone involved co-ordinate care and support. This was the case of Tracy, a Midland Heart customer living in domiciliary care.

Tracy has some support needs that require involvement from family, support workers and health professionals. At her home she is supported to maintain her tenancy and build up life skills to maximise her independence.

With such an extensive range of support and constantly changing daily activities it is sometimes difficult to keep members of her network engaged with what she is doing. The introduction of an online network (Tyze Personal Networks) to pull everyone together seemed an ideal solution. Tyze messaging had an immediate impact enabling Tracy and her support workers to keep her family up to date with what was happening in her life.

Tyze was introduced to Tracy’s dialectical behaviour therapy team. Her psychologist, Aubrey, has uploaded information and videos onto the network, from their weekly sessions that Tracy can access at home. Aubrey notes:

“Tyze gives Tracy the ability to coordinate her support and offers greater independence by giving her a chance to have social interaction.”

Because of this and other stories similar one of the actions identified in the Roadmap was to Improve care co-ordination and  planning/communication between family, community and professional care givers.

If you want to read more about this and the actions identified for Health. Wellbeing and Care in Birmingham and have your say, you can find them all here.

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