New health academy to support patients and carers

Local health and care services working with carers to develop an innovative new project to transform the way patients and carers living in Oldham and Rochdale look after their own health and wellbeing. 

The Living Well Academy, which is a working title, is an initiative between Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, the Local Authorities, voluntary agencies and carers.  It aims to help people gain a greater understanding of their health conditions and provide much needed support to carers.

Over the next two years, the project will focus on helping people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, stroke and those at the end of life.

As part of this new Academy, a series of bespoke educational courses will be developed for carers, as well as an interactive online social platform. This package will provide carers and patients with the health knowledge and skills to manage their conditions more effectively in the long-term building independence, not dependence.

Reagan Blyth, Associate Director of Quality Assurance and Research at Pennine Care, said: “The Living Well Academy is focussed on helping carers and patients to be able to look after their own health and wellbeing needs, in order to reduce the need for clinical interventions and increase capacity in frontline health services.

“This will only succeed if carers and patients are at the centre of the Academy’s development.  We need to draw upon real life experiences and ideas to ensure both the courses and online platform meets their needs and will make a difference to their lives. That’s why we need a range of people from the community to get involved and be at the heart of the Academy.”

The project is being jointly co-ordinated by Reagan Blyth, Associate Director of Quality Assurance and Research and John Starkey, Lead Governor and a carer himself.

In order to ensure the Living Well Academy meets the needs of carers and patients, the Trust is looking to recruit a group of willing volunteers to get involved and lead its development.  A series of engagement events will be taking place across Bury, Oldham and Rochdale over the coming months. 

If you are an adult carer or patient and would like to get involved please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0161 716 3178 or tweet @LivingWellAcad

Visit www.penninecare.nhs.uk for more details.