22/03/2024 | Press releases

One stop shop brings holistic care closer to home

Patients at risk of falling in east Suffolk can now get help for a wide variety of health, social and wellbeing issues in a single place.

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust’s (ESNEFT) Woodbridge Holistic Assessment Team (WHAT) has launched the one-stop clinic to bring holistic care closer to home. Taking place monthly, it gives patients the chance to be assessed by several different professionals in one session. This could include a nurse, therapists, podiatrist, pharmacist and social prescriber.

The team will then provide any necessary healthcare while also liaising with partner organisations – such as the voluntary sector or social services – to make sure the patient receives all the help they need to reduce their risk of falls and enjoy a better quality of life.

Two healthcare workers talk to two patients

Specialist mental health nurse Jo Clarke and psychological wellbeing practitioner Alice Bird with Harry and Anne Brown

Heather Thompson, lead community nurse, helps to run WHAT. She also has personal experience of the service after it looked after her gran, who tripped and stumbled regularly and was also complaining of tiredness and memory issues.

Following a comprehensive assessment, the 87-year-old saw a foot practitioner to remove painful callouses, had physio to improve her strength and balance and now takes vitamins to counteract a B12 deficiency and give her more energy.

She has also been fitted with a hearing aid on the recommendation of the team, which has seen her memory improve as she can now clearly hear what people are saying. She also stumbles less often as she is more aware of when she begins to scuff her feet.

“The clinic is a really valuable one stop shop where people at risk of falling can have a holistic assessment and see lots of different disciplines in one day,” said Heather. “This means they only need to tell their story once and will then receive wrap-around care from all the right services.

“It has made a huge difference to Gran, who is so much better and is running around with a lot more energy. She feels more independent and is once again able to do more of the things she used to struggle with.

“We’ve celebrated several successes since the clinic launched in May. We’ve diagnosed long-term conditions so that effective treatment can begin, signposted patients to counselling for underlying mental health issues, used social prescribing for weight management and helped people to access benefits. We have also supported patients on low incomes to apply for grants to buy second hand furniture for their homes. Feedback has also been amazing.

“The clinic is running really well so far and is successfully bringing services together so that people can access them more easily. Our focus is on prevention wherever possible, as not only is it much better for the patient but also helps save precious NHS resources in the longer term.”

A patient takes part in a walking assessment with a physiotherapist

Felicity Lidvall does a walking assessment with physiotherapist Jo Moorman

The clinic is open to anyone in the Woodbridge area who is at risk of falling, which includes tripping, stumbling or issues with balance. People can refer or self-refer by emailing WHAT@suffolk.gov.uk


WHAT’s work been recognised on the national stage after picking up a silver accolade at the HSJ Partnership Awards.

The team, which includes staff from ESNEFT and Suffolk County Council, received the runner-up award in the data integration project of the year category. The ceremony was held at Evolution in London last Thursday (21 March).

WHAT was given the award in recognition of the way it shares information across different NHS teams and wider care system, in turn helping to join-up care and make the most effective use of available resources.

Nikki Pemberton, integrated health and social care manager, said: “We are so proud to receive this award.

“We have worked hard to provide a holistic assessment and early intervention for those who are anxious about falling or who have had a fall. We want to support our community further to reduce and stop any further falls in their future.

“We are so happy that others see the value of these clinics and recognise the ongoing need for them in the community.

“It’s great to see a team that is so passionate, working together to improve the lives of the local population.”

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