Expertise pooled together in new initiative to improve the health of Bradford and Airedale people

A new initiative to help improve the health and wellbeing of the community in Bradford and Airedale has been launched.

First Contact is a scheme which uses a simple checklist to identify people’s health and social care needs in order to match them with the appropriate help, support and information that is available across the District.

It is a free service, open to everyone and is being co-ordinated by the Shipley-based charity, the Carers’ Resource.

It draws upon the expertise of a range of partners – local authority specialists, local NHS, Mind in Bradford, Bradford District Care Trust Health Trainer Service and Champions Show the Way, Stop Smoking Service, Obesity Team, CReate, Prescribing Support Services, and Alzheimer’s Society – to guide people towards the right support at the right time, whether as part of a group or on a one-to-one basis.

Saiuqa Raney, who is coordinating the scheme at the Carers’ Resource, said:

“First Contact is designed to remove barriers in accessing support and make it easy for people to get the support they need.

“It simplifies the process for getting help, which for many people can be a complex maze.

“One simple form captures all of their lifestyle and care needs.  In just five minutes we are equipped for the first time with a personalised insight into their circumstances.

“We then draw upon the pool of expertise that exists among a number of community based services across Bradford and Airedale to support people in those areas with services appropriate to the needs identified.”

The Self Care scheme is designed to help the local population improve its physical and mental health in many different ways.

This ranges from weight management and nutritional support to advice on stopping smoking and reducing alcohol intake.

It will also offer support to the estimated one in three people living in the community who at some point in their lives will experience depression or other mental health issues, particularly memory loss.

The initiative will also offer an opportunity to access some social care services, such as the community meals service or a pendant alarm to maintain independence at home.

In addition there is also support for people looking to find employment or training opportunities, as well as how to give back something to the community by becoming a volunteer.

First Contact builds on an initiative trialled in the District earlier this year which had the aim of helping people overcome fuel poverty and stay warm during the coldest snap of the year.

The form is designed to be completed online by visiting

Hard copies of the form are also available as part of a pilot project being trialled in partnership with three local GP surgeries, The Ridge Medical Practice, Picton Medical Centre and Tong Medical Centre.

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