A former Lytham golf club captain says a new community-based health service is ‘the best thing that has ever happened’ to him.
Colin Davenport,81, a retired RAF corporal and former Poulton Town football club player, is one of hundreds of patients to benefit from the new extensive care service being rolled out across the Fylde coast.
After initially launching at Lytham Primary Care Centre and Moor Park Health and Leisure Centre in Bispham, health chiefs in the area are ready to further roll out the service for hundreds more patients in the Wyre and South Shore areas.
Extensive care makes sure people over 60 with two or more long-term conditions receive more coordinated support closer to their home and less in hospital.
Colin, who was referred into the service by his GP to help his recovery from a stroke 10 years ago, said: “The whole thing is great. It is there to try to keep you out of hospital and make sure everything is all right.
“It is the best thing that has happened to me.”
And yet more patients will soon have access to the service when it launches at Wyre Civic Centre in Poulton-le-Fylde and South Shore Primary Care Centre in Lytham Road, Blackpool.
On top of the knock-on effects of his stroke, Colin also has a pacemaker and suffers from shortness of breath while out and about.
A strong personal drive borne out of his sporting background and an RAF-ingrained stiff upper lip attitude helped him to recover some of his lost freedoms following the stroke.
And now, thanks to extensive care, Colin has the help of a dedicated team to manage his health conditions on a daily basis.
Extensive care provides proactive support to patients like Colin to better understand and manage their conditions in order to dramatically reduce the need for unplanned hospital visits.
Patients who are eligible for extensive care will be offered a referral into the service by their GP.
The dedicated team supports Colin – who lives with his partner Rita Fletcher in East Cliffe, Lytham – and other patients with all of their health and care needs so they no longer have various appointments with different professionals.
Patients are allocated their own wellbeing support worker, who they meet with on a regular basis, to develop a long-term plan for their health. This includes setting a number of achievable goals which are all geared towards improving their health and wellbeing.
Dr Andrew Weatherburn, clinical lead for the extensive care service, said: “We have already seen massive benefits to patients using the service and now we are very excited to expand it further across the area to benefit more people.
“By bringing together health and social care professionals into one harmonised team we are able to look at what is best for every aspect of a person’s health and wellbeing in the long-run as opposed to just treating individual conditions.”
Since joining the extensive care service, Colin has been able to work with wellbeing support worker Rachel Haworth to get more active as a result of the goals he set himself.
Colin said: “Firstly I wanted to get some weight off and I have done that. I also wanted to understand why I was getting short of breath and that is now improving.
“Working with Rachel and the team has helped me to understand my conditions, which has helped me to manage them, overcome them and control them a lot more.
“Extensive care helps me to keep moving forward. I can just make a phone call and there is always someone there to help me and that is the main thing.
“It has helped me 120 per cent. The people who are responsible for this are fantastic.”
Extensive care is set to launch at South Shore Primary Care Centre on 11 April and at Wyre Civic Centre on 18 April.
Anybody who feels that they or somebody who they know could benefit from the extensive care service should speak to their GP.