Parish Nurse

Set up in 2003, this project set out to address the health inequalities in Lenton. The role of a Parish Nurse offered us a compassionate, creative and holistic way of meeting people in Lenton, for whom loneliness and isolation, combined with food poverty and unemployment contribute to a high level of physical and mental ill health; the strength of community spirit in Lenton provided a seed bed of care within which this project could flourish.

The following report illustrates its current activities and shows Andy, the Parish Nurse, at work!

Andy Powell can be contacted on 07773 020602 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Lenton Health and Wholeness Project
The Project is managed by a group drawn from the local Baptist and Methodist churches, and is linked with Parish Nursing Ministries UK; it is designed to complement NHS provision in this underprivileged area of Nottingham.
•To alleviate poor health particularly where it is a product of poverty and marginalization.
•To overcome health inequalities in the area.
•To meet a need for holistic health care: body, mind and spirit.
•To provide advocacy for vulnerable adults.
The project employs a qualified nurse, beginning in 2003 at half a day a week, increasing to 1 day a week in 2006 and to the current 15 hours a week in 2009.

The Parish Nurse- outcomes in past 6 months:Lenton Flats
•Received a variety of referrals from the NHS Community Nurses in Radford and from local churches.
•Developed close links with the Housing Patch Manager for the City Council Flats in Lenton, which lie between the Baptist and Methodist Churches; Newgate Court is one of the blocks of flats dedicated to the elderly, where many residents experience loneliness and isolation; the Parish Nurse has made 87 home visits locally to vulnerable adults offering advice, listening and prayer.
•Accompanied 5 vulnerable people to hospital appointments, acting as an advocate in the area of patient choice.

Links with the community: The Parish Nurse has organized 24 health promotion drop in sessions, to encourage healthy lifestyles and weight loss, at:
Blood pressure check•The Dunkirk and Lenton Partnership Forum, an umbrella organization for local Voluntary Sector Groups, who also organize an annual Community Festival where the Parish Nurse has a stall.
•The Lenton Centre, a community centre with gym and pool attached, run as a Social Enterprise by local trustees.

He has also undertaken:

• 50 Health advice and blood pressure checks
• 46 Informal discussions with clients
• Every Tuesday and Wednesday attends lunch-time cafés where informal contacts are made.
• Led 7 mid-week Healing Services

The Area
Lenton is located about 1 mile from the City Centre of Nottingham, and has a very diverse population. Over half the residents are students (48.9% at the 2001 census, significantly more now), mainly living in HMOs (Houses of Multiple Occupancy), although there is also a large Hall of Residence for Nottingham Trent University. This large student population attracts lots of bars and fast food outlets, but causes problems for the facilities needed by longer-term residents, such as schools, GP surgeries, etc. It also distorts all the standard indices of deprivation and health, thus reducing the amount of Government funding for the area, and increases the sense of isolation among long-term residents.

The project has a positive effect on the whole community by meeting with individuals, who are then enabled to take the next step towards a healthier life, whether it is participating and volunteering in their community, increased awareness of and motivation to make positive choices towards their own health and well being, or improved access to information and advice relating to health matters.

The Project has previously received funding from The Church Urban Fund, The Baptist Union, the Methodist District and Circuit Funds, Churches Together in Lenton and Radford Community House Trust.

Further funding is required to secure sustainability for this much needed role in the community of Lenton.