Community Circles at Spiral Health

When we established Community Circles, we knew that circles could work for anyone; through our work we are learning how to make this a reality. I am currently working with Spiral Health CIC. They run an Intermediate Care Unit at Preston hospital which works with patients who are medically fit so can be discharged from hospital wards, but not yet ready to go home as they need some extra support to prepare for that step.

For some people, going home from hospital is a big step. People may be fearful about being able to cope after a life changing event or change in their health, people may worry about how they will cope on their own or how they will do some of the little things like put the bins out or get out and about. For other people it is the thought of going back to their home and being on their own; the feelings of loneliness that isolation can so often bring.

It was this thinking about how to help make the transition of going home feel better for people that brought Community Circles and Spiral Health CIC together. We want to be able to offer people a Community Circle whilst they are at the unit and then be able to set up this circle ready for their discharge.

I first met with Spiral Health at the end of 2015 when we talked about how this partnership could work. Since then, Nicola Goodwill has taken up post as Matron of the unit and we have worked together to explain to staff what Community Circles is all about. We have built Community Circles into the process and made it a part of the patient discharge planning meetings. We will initially set up circle for ten patients from the Spiral Health Preston Unit.

cc mayPatients will be told about Community Circles within the first two days of being in the unit. They will then be asked if they would like a circle at different points during their stay. Anyone who would like a circle will then meet with the Community Circles Connector and they will find a suitable facilitator for their circle. The circle will be able to help the person with the things that they identify as the purpose for their circle.

In order to make this work, it seems very appropriate that we have set up a circle of staff who will be the key people to make this happen. We are keen that Community Circles feels like a key part of what Spiral Health CIC has to offer and having key staff leading on it will really help this to work.

We currently have our first facilitators completing their training so that we can match them up with people who would like a circle. I’m looking forward to sharing with you about some of the circles that we set up with Spiral Health CIC in the near future!

By Helen Smith