However, for physiotherapist Dominic Hazell, there is a real impact created by the quality of the facilities at the Seachange. “These are amazing facilities. I feel like I can offer my clients a better service in Seachange than anywhere else.”
But the impact of having physio at Seachange does not stop there. By working side-by-side with different professionals it is easy to connect people to other opportunities for support, physical activity and social connection within the known environment of the Seachange Hub. As a result, take-up of offers for follow-on
support is high and people’s ability to manage their health and wider wellbeing is improved.
For Dominic it is this multiplier effect of Seachange that really adds value to his clients. “What I see all the time is how the gym being onsite really motivates people. I can take them to meet the gym staff, they see the state-of-the-art equipment and the other older people there, on the bikes or machines. This really helps their confidence.
With the close working relationship with the gym managers, it is also easy for me to find out about what’s available in terms of exercise classes and what has waiting lists, further removing obstacles to people joining.”
Working so closely with other professionals is not just beneficial in terms of the ease of introduction to other support and services, Dominic is also more confident to make the connections and encourage people to follow them up. “Wherever I am working,
I often want to refer people to other services or activities. For me having a relationship with all these people - gym managers, social prescribers, the Escape-pain team - gives me real confidence in the service they offer. I know who is running all these things in Seachange because I work alongside them. This encourages me to make as many connections as I can.”
This close working relationship and trust amongst professionals help make sure that the services on offer are fully utilised. For example, “at Seachange the ESCAPE-pain sessions are always filled up quickly, there is never any problem finding people to join because of my close working relationship with the team that runs them. I can take clients along to meet the staff, offering reassurance and helping people to make the first crucial step. This is not the case in some other places where I know ESCAPE- pain teams can struggle to find the people who could benefit” says Dominic.
“This team atmosphere is throughout the whole of Seachange and includes links with a whole range of charity and NHS services. It really is a good model for others to explore. In my opinion, it should be how it works everywhere, with the NHS and charity sector working together under one roof to provide coordinated health and wellbeing support and services for people.”
As a local resident, Dominic also sees how Seachange not only creates a community within its four walls but it also plays its part in the community outside. Dominic says “It is great that we can still bring healthcare to the local community there. There is an infrequent bus service. No train services. Everyone is reliant on a car. Without Seachange the only option for people in the local vicinity would be an appointment at Exmouth Hospital.
For Dominic, the Seachange is a great example of the NHS and charity sector working together in partnership. For him, this starts with the reception staff. “The reception staff are very approachable and very good at liaising with us which is greatly appreciated and beneficial. We did not expect this as we thought charity staff would not get involved in NHS staff. But what happens quite regularly is that they actually accompany our clients, especially if they are elderly, less mobile or lacking in confidence, up to the treatment rooms.”
“When you are here at Seachange, people care about your wellbeing and they want to help you. That includes the reception staff, the café, and the managers. It really does make a difference.”