Below are some examples of work that the Village and Community Agents have been doing to help people in their communities. While the studies are anonymous, the Agents do ask their clients for permission to write their story as a case study.
One Agent has a 95-year old client she sees from time to time. He is visited weekly by the Community Nurses, who treat his legs and put on his elastic stockings for him. He does not receive any other treatment.
The client had been having increasing difficulty washing his back so wanted help. He is unable to have a bath. The Agent arranged for him to have an Assessment, and Higher Rate Attendance Allowance was awarded to him. Since the client does not qualify for help from Adult Social Care, the Agent arranged for him to have a weekly visit from Live Well At Home. They will give him a wash and also treat his legs for him. Since the Community Nurses visited on a Tuesday morning, the Agent arranged for Live Well At Home to visit at the same time, for continuity.
After one visit the client was very happy with the new arrangement. He feels he can put his Attendance Allowance to good use. The Community Nurses are also pleased because it saves them a visit, but they will also be informed if his legs deteriorate.
Tinkling the ivories
An Agent was contacted by a Nurse at one of the GP surgeries in her area. They had seen an elderly man who they thought was fairly isolated. The Agent visited and discovered that he plays the piano.
The Agent contacted a day centre and a residential home within walking distance of the client's home - he does not drive. The residential home has a piano and were delighted with the suggestion that he could play to their residents sometimes.
Image: Salvatore Vuono/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Village and Community Agents have been able to identify issues at a community level, for example in those parts of the county that border Wales.
The Village Agent covering the Lower Wye Valley identified a problem: the national bowel cancer screening programme was failing to reach the over-60s in his area. NHS Gloucestershire and its partners were running the screening programme by GP surgery. However, over the border in Wales the screening programme was being run by postcode.
Several thousand people aged over 60 live in the area. The problem arose, regardless of whether they have a GL or NP postcode, where residents lived in Gloucestershire but were registered with a surgery that has its main centre in Wales (Chepstow, Monmouth, Tintern).
Bowel cancer is one of the four 'big' cancers, so the mismatch between screening policies in Gloucestershire and Wales was potentially putting a lot of people at risk.
The Village Agent raised the issue via GRCC, who flagged it up with the NHS via Gloucestershire LINk, and also with the Parish Council. As a result, bowel screening is now taking place in the Lower Wye Valley.
As the Agent correctly identified, this issue potentially had greater implications. If the two sides of the border continued to use different methodologies for their screening and preventative work, residents of the Lower Wye Valley would always fall through the gaps.