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Pioneering programme sparks Singapore interest

Health and care professionals from Singapore are visiting Swansea this week to learn more about a pioneering programme which is supporting communities in Swansea to become stronger, safer and better connected.

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They are also sharing information about some innovative practice in health care in Singapore.

The delegation is in Swansea to look at Local Area Coordination to see how it is working and whether it can be replicated overseas.

Swansea Council was one of the first local authorities in Wales to trial the scheme when it employed three Local Area Coordinators in 2015.

They have made such a positive impact the team has grown to 11 and now cover a large area of the city.

The LACs have a wide-ranging preventative brief that includes walking alongside people to develop skills and ideas to avoid crises by finding interdependent and sustainable solutions to everyday challenges, and spotting opportunities to work with local people to grow more welcoming, connected and active neighbourhoods.

They also look out for people who might be lonely and isolated and help them to connect with others so that they can live stronger, healthier and more independent and active lives.

Cllr Mark Child, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Care, Health & Ageing Well, said: "All the feedback and evidence we have received is that this approach is working.

"The authorities in Singapore are seriously considering adopting this model of working and it was recommended to them that they visit by the LAC UK network because of the significant partnership involvement we have developed here and our successful delivery.

"We are delighted to host them, discuss how LACs are working for us and to have the opportunity to show them a little bit of Swansea while they are here."

Earlier this year a group of three GP practices and healthcare professionals, including pharmacists, recognised the impact LACs can have by funding one of the posts in the Llansamlet area.

Cllr Child added: "The success of the LACs is being recognised by other major organisations in Swansea and reflected in the fact they have agreed to contribute towards their funding.

"There are now LACs working in communities across our city walking besides people of all ages, discussing what a good day means to them, and a good life, and watching them become stronger, preventing the need for them to resort to health and social services."

For more information on Local Area Co-ordination, how to get involved and how to contact the Co-ordinator in your area head tohttp://www.swansea.gov.uk/localareacoordinationfaqs

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