Spotlight on … The First Contact Checklist
One of the projects BAB is currently funding is the First Contact Checklist, which steps in to assist staff working on strict timescales and helps them to cross-refer services to older people.
Carly Urbanski, Programme Manager at BAB said, “Our focus is on supporting older people to feel less lonely and socially isolated. The First Contact Checklist helps care staff to identify the older people most at risk of loneliness due to ill health or caring responsibilities and refers them to organisations in Bristol that can help.”
What is the First Contact Checklist?
The First Contact Checklist is a series of questions that each refer to a different agency or service in Bristol. The checklist can be asked to any older person in the city and all of the available services cover the whole area. When a checklist is completed, it is passed on to the Care Forum who then makes the referral to each identified agency or service. The checklist allows for organisations to easily refer older people to different services that may be relevant to them in a safe and coordinated way. The Care Forum run a follow up enquiry with the older person within 6 weeks to ensure that the correct information has been received and whether any further support is needed.
Voluntary agencies utilising the checklist have so far reported a positive impact. Alex Hodgson from the Care Forum said, “We have referred older people in Bristol to 195 different services using the checklist so far. This has meant that 35 additional older people in Bristol are safer in their homes following fire safety advice and home visits, 16 older people have had visits from community navigators to help them reconnect with their communities and feel less isolated, and 21 older people have received advice to lower their fuel bills and make their homes warmer. The First Contact Checklist enhances voluntary sector knowledge of other local services and provides a quick and easy way to get practical support in to older people to improve their physical and mental wellbeing.”
The checklist was recently utilised by the Carers Support Centre who supported Yvonne, an older woman who cares for her father. The respiratory nurse who first met with Yvonne noted that Yvonne had been finding it very stressful to juggle her family life with her caring responsibilities, and referred her to the Carer’s Support Centre.
One of the Carer Support Centre’s helpline workers rang Yvonne within a few days to introduce the services to her and to take further details about her situation. Yvonne was encouraged to have a carer’s assessment and because of the visit, Yvonne felt more informed and was able to apply for a carer’s emergency card. The carer’s assessment also highlighted Yvonne’s need for a break and a carer’s payment of £300 was awarded so that she could have a few days away with her partner.
Yvonne said, “I am really looking forward to going away. But just as important, it is really good to know that the support is there when I need it.”
The checklist will be relaunched on the 15th November at The Station on Silver Street. The aim of the relaunch is to attract new partners and to support existing partners to come together and learn more about the services available to older people in Bristol. The relaunch is timed to support older people over winter when it can be more difficult to access support.
To book your free place, please visit Eventbrite.
To find out more about BAB’s involvement in the First Contact Checklist, click here.
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