In the Tāmaki work, we are aiming at improving the wellbeing of the people living in this area. We are designing and testing solutions for the GPs to be more connected to the network of support that is available for the community through Social workers, peer support workers etc.
We are doing this by bringing together people from different backgrounds, different experiences, from doctors to people who have experienced a journey of support. Together we are imagining solutions that bring the person in need of support to the centre of care.
This person-centred approach is a key principle for us. What people are telling us is that support should be designed around ‘what matters to me’ as opposed to ‘what is the matter with you’. Here is an example of this principle in action.
Sometimes what feels trivial is actually key: people in the community have told us texting is a great way to get in touch to begin support relationships. It’s easier first up to have a text conversation with a support worker. Texting to arrange to talk or meet a support worker gives a person more control as they can respond to the text when it suits them. If mobility is an issue it can be hard to get to a ringing phone and for many people the cost of picking up voice messages left on mobiles can be a real barrier. We have also found that the time it takes a support worker to respond to a person’s texts is an early measure of trust. Texting back quickly lets people know they matter, and goes a long way to getting a support relationship off to a good start.
What appeared to be a minor detail at first turned out to be a valuable learning.