Community Outreach Programme
Eleanor Nursing and Social Care
Eleanor Nursing and Social Care is a Homecare provider based in Lewisham. Eleanor Healthcare Group incorporates services covering both the health and social care sectors by providing homecare, care homes, patient transport, hospital logistics, consultation, training and nursing services.
Our Head Office is located in the heart of Lewisham, as well as our Lewisham Homecare office which provides care calls to over 200 service users, employs over 100 Care Workers and has an established team of co-ordinators. We are keen to explore how we can use all of our resources to benefit our community and assist local groups in fulfilling their aims.
Through joint venture partnerships with third sector organisations and social enterprises, including voluntary and community organisations, registered charities, associations, self-help groups, community groups, social enterprises, co-operatives and businesses that support social problems, Eleanor aims to improve links within the community and people’s quality of life.
We are striving to expand the group of stakeholders we work with and making a real difference to the health and domiciliary care services offered not only to our service users, but to all those affected by similar issues in the borough.
By encouraging the growth of this network within the borough, we hope to achieve the following:
- Further understand the needs of our service users and others in their communities
- Improve the quality of and access to social activities for older people in the community
- Signposting service users, their families and carers to relevant local services
- Explore how Eleanor can use its resources to assist local community stakeholders in fulfilling their services
Researching Community Needs
Eleanor values the opinions of its staff and service users, and conducts annual surveys in order to gain feedback on these matters. With the aim of exploring the views and needs of services users and residents in the community, we have conducted a Community Survey, investigating social activities and services attended (Fig 1). By identifying areas that were not as well known or accessible, Eleanor could work towards improving access to these areas.
It is evident from the results of these surveys and other discussions had with Lewisham residents that there is often a lack of clarity about where to find relevant information on issues and services. Eleanor has endeavoured to create links with third party organisations within the borough, in order to signpost service users to places they can receive advice or a necessary service. We now have a great deal of information on services in the area and are able to recommend these to clients based on their needs. Examples of these include Age UK, Mind, Three Cs, Bridge Mental Health and Macmillan. In addition to these organisations, we are working closely with local NHS and social services to ensure all expectations of Eleanor are met.
In addition to signposting residents to the services and advice available in the local community, we also are encouraging service users to attend local groups and social events in order to improve their quality of life. There are a wide range of groups in the Lewisham area which residents can get involved with, and many for free or at a low cost. These include walking football, IT classes, creative arts, weekly meetups, gardening groups, martial arts and music groups. We want to encourage the attendance of service users to groups which interest and excite them.
Families of Service Users
It is important that the families of our service users are provided with any support or information they may need. Eleanor is now working directly with the Lewisham Carers’ Centre and ISIS Family Health (a carer group for African and Caribbean carers) in order to explore any ways in which we can assist the informal Carers of our service users, either with the provision of rest bite or training in safely caring for a loved one.
Local Educational Facilities
Eleanor is in contact with local Colleges which specialise in social and healthcare courses, and is exploring the recruitment of these students. This will not only benefit Eleanor, but will provide students with flexible working hours around their studies, invaluable work experience and permanent roles on the completion of their courses.
In addition to the in-house training offered, Eleanor is reaching out to local stakeholders for alternative training courses, to enrich the knowledge and abilities of our Care Workers. Specific medication training has been delivered by a member of the Lewisham pharmacy team, and the Lewisham branch is regularly visited by Lewisham District Nurse who trains Care Workers in various clinical tasks. Makaton training has been provided by staff at our own Day Centre in Bexley to selected Carers. Again, with the links made with local organisations and charities, we have discovered a range of training courses available, including training on mental health issues and dementia care from Mind, and foundation palliative care training from Macmillan.