Cornwall’s success with Community Health and Wellbeing Workers

Posted on:

New Cornwall Health and wellbeing Workers

On the 27th February the community health and wellbeing (CHWW) teams were visited by a delegation from the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC). The NAPC are developing a national manual for implementing the CHWW model and have picked the brains from those with experience and expertise from Cornwall. They are also visiting Somerset, Calderdale and Westminster.

Professor Matthew Harris, Dr Connie Junghans and Dr Martha Martin spent a whole day with the Cornwall leads from across a range of organisations across Cornwall.

The investment in the CHWWs across Cornwall and IOS have been a key driver in reducing inequalities in the most deprived areas. Ten community health and wellbeing workers were introduced in St Austell, Newquay, Falmouth and Truro in early 2023.  They are located in the areas with the highest levels of deprivation (as recognised by the office of national statistics index of multiple deprivation (ONS IMD).  In January 2024, a team of 22 CHWWs were also appointed in the Kerrier area of Cornwall. With further investment from Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Integrated Care Board, the CHWWs are now being spreading to Penwith, Bodmin and Liskeard.  Iti s expected that there will be a total of 50-60 CHWWs in post by the summer of 2024.

CHWWs are part of the 30 year old Brazillian family health strategy where 70% of the population is able to access a CHWW.  The CHWWs are allocated approximately 120 households (per full time role) where they role is to develop trusted relationships with each householder who choses to engage.  They have the time to listen to their householders and find out what matters to them. 

By using their skills, the CHWW, will encourage their householders to initially identify their biggest concern and then work with the householder to reduce or remove that concern.  The CHWWs are primarily hosted in the voluntary sector and are closely linked with their local GP practices.  In time they will be able to add in health promotion conversations with their householders.  The model has 4 core principles:-

Comprehensive – building relationships with all ages

Hyper local – working in a very small area that covers up to 120 households

Universal – the CHWW offer is open to all households in their micro area, regardless of need and will contact each engaged person at least once a month

Integrated – closely linked with local GP practices, community health and care teams and wider community groups and organisations.

Benefits seen in Brazil and Westminster from this model.

–         Reduction of Primary care contacts

–         Improving health checks and screening

–         Increased cancer screening and breastfeeding rates

–         34% reduction of cardiovascular mortality noted in Brazil

Watch the film of our Central CHWW workers: Healthcare workers short version – YouTube

To find out more about the community health and wellbeing workers contact

Volunteer Cornwall logo
St Austell Healthcare logo
Newquay Orchard logo
NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Logo
newquay Store House logo
Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change logo
Transformation CPR logo
Dracaena Centre logo
Cornwall Council logo
Chaos Group Logo
New Cornwall Health and wellbeing Workers

Text Size

Change font