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Primary Care is 5!

On 1st October 2018, seven Wellbeing Workers and one Team Manager met in Windrush with a flipchart, pen and one question: ‘what do we want this project to look like?’ Five years on, I think I can honestly say that this project has surpassed all our expectations and more! What started as a twelve-month pilot project covering GP practices in Oxford city and South West Oxfordshire, has flourished into a service reaching almost every area of Oxfordshire (bar Henley on Thames) and broken across the border to Berkshire West. We are now a team of forty-two staff across four locality teams; with thirty-six Wellbeing Workers, one Service Manager, four Team Managers and two Deputy Managers. We hold seventeen different contracts across PCNs, BOB ICB and Wokingham Borough Council and yet there is still more exciting room for us to expand and develop.

In the last five years, we have seen an incredible 20,031 people for an initial assessment. Of the service users who have provided follow up data in the last five years:

* 98% agreed that they got the help that mattered to them.

 * 96.1% of service users felt they were helped to further understand their problems and the help available to them.

* 81.6% indicated that they would choose to see a Wellbeing Worker in their practice over a GP for future support.

These are just some of the wonderful results we have seen.

“Just a huge thank you. The service was accessible to me because it was in my GP practice, and I could attend outside of work hours. I wouldn’t have had the courage to walk through the door of a place marked for mental health support but at my GP I could have been there for anything. I didn’t have to tell my boss because I was able to be seen at 17.30. This service is invaluable and, in all likelihood, saved my life.”

As a service, we have employed eighty-eight people in the primary care team over the last five years (including the current team). Each person – past and present – has made a remarkable difference to the service and a huge thanks goes out to them all. We wouldn’t be where we are without their dedication, desire to constantly improve and remarkable knowledge.

I felt very privileged to be one of the seven Wellbeing Workers sat in Windrush five years ago and I feel very privileged to be writing this celebratory piece as the Service Manager for Primary Care today. It is a fantastic service that provides such valuable and accessible support to thousands of people each year. Long may it continue!

Chloé Nott – Primary Care Service Manager