Open Door, a care centre located in Grimsby, was developed by staff at North East Lincolnshire PCT (now Care Trust Plus) and is an example of multiple outcomes achieved when the consumer is put first in designing and delivering service delivery. Health-needs assessment work at the primary care trust had identified approximately 1,000 people who did not, would not or could not access traditional primary care services. This included homeless people, problematic drug users, offenders, commercial sex workers, refugees and others who are excluded from GP lists.
With the support of funding from the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, North East Lincolnshire PCT decided to work creatively with local people to design easier access to better health and social care services. At the heart of this concept was the call to engage in “co-production” with people who usually experience poor engagement with traditional service providers. Their aim was to create better access to healthcare for Grimsby’s vulnerable groups without disenfranchising the mainstream.
Thus was created Open Door, an activity and social centre with health services available to all as well as providing a Citizens Advice Bureau, cookery classes, alternative therapies, showers and flexible activity space. Each of these facilities provides people with a reason to be there, a place of safety and the means to socialise.
Open Door’s unique role in the local community has enabled strong relationships to develop with many local stakeholders. The accident and emergency department at the local hospital automatically refers anyone not with a GP to Open Door, and the police work with Open Door staff to support prolific and priority offenders. In addition, a decrease in the neighbourhood’s crime rate coincided with the opening of Open Door. Though there is no concrete evidence to credit Open Door for this, the police do believe it played an important role in making that happen.
Source: Jonathan Bland in Social Enterprise for Public Service - How does the third sector deliver? ed. Paul Hunter, Smith Institute, London, 2009, ISBN 1 905370 44, chapter 1. http://www.tsrc.ac.uk/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=5MOUWQwqcLM%3d&tabid=523
NHS Institute for Innovation & Improvement article: http://www.institute.nhs.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2126&Itemid=3847