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Care Navigators: creating a bridge between health professionals and social opportunities

A new role that breaks down barriers between health and social care is set to play a key part in improving the lives of some of the region’s most vulnerable people.

Recently launched by South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, Care Navigators (CNs) will build relationships with patients, solving their problems and finding the services to ensure all of their individual needs are met.

Spanning health and social care, CNs link residents with organisations like the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and local counselling and buddying services to tackle a wide range of issues such as social isolation, financial and emotional difficulties.

The launch of the role is part of the ‘Place Based Team’ approach to keeping us healthy. This new way of working brings together teams from a range of organisations to provide joined up care for the people living in a particular geographical location or ‘place’. It results in a more seamless approach and ensures all aspects of our health and wellbeing is considered.

To launch the role, SWFT held an event where the CNs learned about Making Every Contact Count and Mental First Aid, initiatives that they will use as part of the role. To ensure the new role is a successful and rewarding one the CNs also had the opportunity to discuss their future development and input in to the things they feel they will need.

Rosie McDonnell, Head of Community Nursing for Out of Hospital Care Division said “This is an exciting time in the development of our Place Based Teams. The role of Care Navigators will truly connect our patients to other support they need to meet their social needs. There is strong evidence that the effect of social isolation is a risk factor of disease or dysfunction and can lead to early mortality. Our Care Navigators will enable our patients to have fuller and more extended lives as a result of the support they will provide”

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