Welcome to the 13th Bulletin for the Ways to Wellness Project. The Bulletin assumes that readers are already familiar with the Ways to Wellness Project, so if you are not already aware of our work then please refer to the FAQs and the first twelve bulletins, which tell the story thus far and can be found on the Vonne website.

Launch

Ways to Wellness is pleased to report that the launch date of the 7th of April 2015 is fast becoming a reality. This means that from the 7th of April 2015, Ways to Wellness will begin accepting social prescribing referrals for patients with long term conditions (LTCs) from all eighteen practices in the west of Newcastle.

Organisational Structure

The Charity Commission has now approved the registration of the Ways to Wellness Charitable Foundation with independent trustees that include Paul Corrigan (Health Policy Analyst), Mark Winter (Head of Health & Social Care at ACEVO) and Mary Jordan (Occupational Psychologist). The Foundation will oversee the trading company and it’s key purposes are to disseminate best practice with regard to social prescribing and to support the possible extension of the Ways to Wellness social prescribing model into new areas.

Contracts

Ways to Wellness is the first in the UK and among the frontrunners internationally to use social impact bond funding in health care. This pioneering work has involved the commitment and perseverance of many as we’ve broken new ground in this area. Work over the past few months has focused on finalising key contracts, which involved agreeing terms and addressing requirements. The first contracts that needed to be finalised were those with our funders: the Cabinet Office, Bridges Ventures – our social investment funder, and Newcastle West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Following signing contracts with our funders, we were able to sign contracts with our four providers, Changing Lives, First Contact Clinical, HealthWORKS and Mental Health Concern. Each provider has appointed link workers and their induction training will start in late March 2015.

Building our Team

We have appointed our new Chief Executive, Tara Case. Tara will be starting next week, on the 16th of March 2015. She is an occupational therapist by background but most recently has been an NHS commissioning manager at Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield CCG.

We have recently held interviews for our Finance and Contract Manager position and expect the successful candidate to start with Ways to Wellness in mid-April 2015.

Getting Ready for Launch

Our communications committee has develop an information leaflet. We have also been building the Ways to Wellness website, which should be live, at least in a preliminary stage, by the time you read this bulletin, available at waystowellness.org.uk. Future communications will be found through this website.

Ways to Wellness is planning to move to an office in the Biomedical Research Building at the back of the Newcastle General Hospital site in the next few months. This will bring our office unto the area of the population we serve, in the west of Newcastle.

Further Development

A proposal for funding of a full evaluation of Ways to Wellness to the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has been submitted by the Institute of Health and Society and the Business School at Newcastle University. We are also hoping that the Cabinet Office Social Outcomes Fund will fund some preliminary research while we wait for the outcome of the NIHR bid.



Chris Drinkwater, Executive Chair, on behalf of the Ways to Wellness Ltd Board.

For general enquiries about Ways to Wellness please contact ceo@waystowellness.org.uk.

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