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Age UK Bristol on the Radio Talking Community Clinics

Published on 25 October 2017 11:45 AM

On Saturday 8th July, Mark Baker, Age UK Bristol CEO and Shamim Baloo, Volunteer Co-ordinator and Project Co-ordinator for our Community Clinics project, joined partners David Pugh and Val Helliar from Bristol Community Health, as well as regular patient and former nurse Shirley Bruce on Dr Phil Hammond’s morning show on BBC Radio Bristol.

The Community Clinic is a collaborative project between Bristol Community Health and Age UK Bristol, providing a social environment where patients with non-healing wounds can get their dressings changed by skilled clinicians while enjoying a cup of tea and a chat. This project is funded by Bristol Ageing Better, as part of their GP Case Finding stream of funding.

As Age UK Bristol, we are co-ordinating the non-medical aspect of the project, recruiting and supporting volunteers, and creating a relaxed environment that encourages people to talk to each other and socialise. We recognise that by providing this space the general sense of wellbeing of the person having their wounds treated will improve, allowing them to feel more confident and encouraging them to stay socially active and engaged with their communities.

The Community Clinic also forms part of a new healthcare model which has just launched in the southwest of the city, which promotes the principle of patients receiving upfront care from a team of mixed clinical professionals, rather than having to go to their GP first for assessment. The aim is to support patients to access faster appointments and free up GP capacity so they can focus on patients with the most complex healthcare needs.

Mark Baker, CEO of Age UK Bristol, highlighted the collaborative approach of the Community Clinics: “Projects like this give us confidence that we can actually collaborate and coproduce together.”

You can listen to the full interview here:

The project runs a Community Clinic every Thursday at the Withywood Centre in Bishopsworth. “The Withywood Centre is a fantastic community centre, it has got lots of different activities and a community café. It’s nice to see people coming into the clinics and then going off and having a cup of tea at the café”, said Shamim Baloo, referring to the impact of providing a space that encourages people to talk to each other and socialise.

We will also be inviting other local organisations to share information about services available to the participants, making the sessions not only friendly and effective in terms of their care needs, but also raising awareness of other projects and activities that they can get involved.

The service is open to direct referrals from the 6 participating GP practices collaborating with this project, and linked district nurses. For more information about accessing the service, please contact Bristol Community Health ( by calling 0117 900 2600.

If you are interested in volunteering as part of this new and exciting project, contact Shamim Baloo on 0117 929 7537, or visit the Age UK Bristol website