Partnership case study: ‘Wellbeing service’ by Walsall Housing Group

Walsall Housing Group Wellbeing Service supports vulnerable people to maintain independence and reduces dependence on more intensive forms of care and support. It provides a cost effective mechanism for addressing the need for support to those who do not meet the eligibility criteria for social care services in order to prevent or delay the need for higher cost services.

Our challenge

The Wellbeing Service is marketed towards independent people over the age of 55. It is designed to enable them to make informed choices about their housing and support, including around reducing social isolation. There has been an increased demand for community based services due to both the popularity of our service and the closure of other local non-WHG contracted schemes.

Through our internal research identified the following, which support the need for the wellbeing service:

  • there are 23,730 households in Walsall with at least one person over 65,
  • the above equates to 22% of the households in the borough and of these 13,845 people live alone (source: Census data),
  • 7034 of our customers are over 60.

Our solution            

The Wellbeing Service is a people-centred preventative service providing flexible support based on the “5 Ways to Wellbeing” and delivered from a specific hub base.

The service is flexible to customers’ needs and is delivered in both Scheme and community based settings. It includes:

  • community development and social activities ( 3 hours per week)
  • individual support and wellbeing sessions (maximum of 1 individual hour per month, dependant on need)
  • outcome-based delivery
  • flexible service to deliver short and long term support to enable the customer to retain independence

Our impact

The service forms part of the corporate plan at WHG and we have identified targets for meeting the number of customers receiving the service and monitoring individual outcomes through support plans.

The service recently undertook at social return on investment review and confirmed that it provided a saving of £4 to £1.

We are currently developing a performance framework to formally assess effectiveness and inform future development of the service. 

Our partners

The service has been able to integrate services which were traditionally provided by social services or other contracted providers, but are no longer commissioned. We have developed a flexible support service, where delivery takes place in the customers’ homes.  We work with colleagues within WHG to provide a range of services and activities for customers as well as Public Health and lifestyle teams from the local authority to deliver health and wellbeing messages.

Our role

As the largest provider of social housing in Walsall, WHG is well placed to deliver a range of support services in the borough both to our customers and the wider community. We are investing in the construction of four new wellbeing schemes as hubs to deliver the service from across the borough. We are working closely with the Council and health partners to deliver affordable, modern and dementia friendly accommodation for our ageing customer base.

WHG has a dedicated health and wellbeing team who deliver projects for older people, young people, healthy living and lifestyle services which combine to support users of the service.

Our contribution to improving health

The Wellbeing Service enables customers to sustain their tenancies and live independent lives.  Several of our customers need support to maintain their tenancies following periods of ill-health, and some have experienced mental health issues including developing dementia.  Our services enables people to re-engage with their communities, manage their tenancies, finances and wellbeing. As a result, they avoid homelessness and are equipped to seek new opportunities and continue to engage with health services.

The outcomes frameworks the service contributes towards are:

  • NHS Outcome 2 – enhancing quality of life for people with mental illness and ensuring people feel supported to manage their condition
  • Enhancing quality of life for people with dementia
  • ASCOF outcome 1 - employment of people with mental illness/ proportion of people using  services who have control over their lives
  • PHO – domain 4 – emergency readmission / suicide rates
  • PHO – domain 1 – percentage of adults with second mental health support in stable and appropriate housing
  • NHS outcome domain 3 – helping older people to recover their independence after illness or injury.