“Accessing the Health for Living courses literally saved my life. I attended a Pain Management course which was really beneficial and taught me how to manage my pain a lot better.” (Service user)
“Not only are the courses beneficial to go to but they are a great way of seeking advice and help and a place to find new friends.” (Service user)
Called Health for Living, the consortium set up by the Accord Group, Black Country Housing Group, Murray Hall Community Trust and The Kaleidoscope Plus Group, will be launched on Monday (16 January) by Chair of the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership, Stewart Towe.
Using their combined and vast experience in care and support, the company will work together to provide a range of tailored health and well-being services to people in Sandwell.
Around 60,000 people in the borough live with a long-term illness, health problem or disability that affects their life and the life-expectancy of men and women is below the national average.
Health for Living has already secured a £1.2 million contract from Sandwell PCT to roll out a Confidence and Well-being service for people with long-term illnesses.
The service includes health improvement programmes, help and support to assist people to manage their own conditions, stress and relaxation workshops and food and mood activities.
An online self-help tool will also be launched as part of the contract to offer people vital advice and support about managing different health conditions, ranging from anxiety management to weight management.
Monica Shafaq, Chief Executive of The Kaleidoscope Plus Group, said:
“More than 20 per cent of people in Sandwell are living with a long-term illness which not only has an impact on the quality of their life but also costs the NHS a significant amount of money.
“Health for Living will support these people and many others across the borough to get the help and assistance that they need to improve their health and well-being and in return offer good value for money.”
Chris Handy OBE, Chief Executive of the Accord Group, said:
“Collectively the organisations that make up Health for Living have been providing care and support services to people across the West Midlands for many years.
“Not only do we have the knowledge and experience in healthcare that is vital for running this service but we’re also able to reach out to some of the most vulnerable and isolated in our communities.
“We also hope that this initiative will have an impact on the local economy by helping people back into employment who have been unable to work because of an illness or health concern.”
The Confidence and Well-being service will be based at the Well-being Centre in Smethwick, with classes and sessions taking place across Sandwell. The service will operate on a self-referral and GP referral basis and is open to those who live in Sandwell, are registered with a Sandwell GP or work in the borough.