Dr Naomi Glover, clinical psychologist, and Barbara Armstrong, lead for social inclusion/joint Lead OT, welcomed delegates from the Healthcare Improvement Alliance Europe to Wanstead Youth Centre to hear about the NELFT initiatives Social Netball and Coping Through Football (CTF). Presentations on both groups highlighted the importance and many benefits of partnership working and also the wider impact on both physical health and social engagement as well as mental health.
The IHI Health Improvement Alliance Europe is an exclusive community dedicated to continuous learning and identification of best practices and new models from within and outside health and health care and hosted their annual event in London this year. NELFT were delighted to be able to showcase these initiatives.
The delegates included representatives from Surrey and Borders PT, Cleveland Clinic London, Northern Ireland Health & Social Care Trust Network: South Eastern, Belfast, and Southern Trusts, Barts Health NHS Trust, Northern Ireland Health & Social Care Trust Network: South Eastern, Belfast, and Southern Trusts and the Northern Ireland Regional Network. The group recognised the true collaboration between different organisations and the transformative nature of the offer – the benefits to patients around purpose, wellbeing recovery and the positive impact on staff too. HIAE delegates then had the opportunity to refresh their netball skills as they joined a group that were training.
Coping Through Football (CTF) was set up twelve years ago to support the recovery of individuals experiencing mental health difficulties and is delivered as a ‘therapeutic', 'clinical’ intervention within a mainstream/community setting by a NELFT mental health clinician (Occupational Therapist) , working along with a peer recovery worker. Social Netball is based on the model CTF. CTF sessions are open to both men and women, although session are predominantly attended by men (95% of attendees are male and 5% are female). In order to appeal to female service users, a women-centred activity was created, thus Social Netball was born.
Once the delegates returned to their London base to continue with the conference, in their wider discussions, Social Netball was described as a low cost intervention with very high value and the approach as truly holistic – both around the partnership working but also around the range of potential benefits – mental health, physical health, social interaction, community interaction, and peer support.