Livewell Southwest is proud to be a community interest company and social enterprise. Everything we do – from how we shape our organisation, culture, values and policies – is geared towards getting the best outcomes, and greatest “social value” for the people of Plymouth, West Devon and South Hams. Social value is an important measure of the value people place on changes they experience in their life. In this context, we hope to deliver social value by improving people’s health and well-being, ensuring we offer fulfilling career opportunities, by minimising our environmental impact and by acting as a good ‘neighbor’ and corporate citizen in all that we do.
Health and well-being for the people of the south west
Our primary aim is to help people living in Plymouth, West Devon and South Hams to live their best lives by supporting their health and well-being. We do this by shaping our services around the specific needs of those communities. Instead of asking people to navigate complex systems and deal with multiple organisations, we work closely with our partners – from education centres, care providers or voluntary sector groups – at a neighbourhood level to make accessing the health and social care services simple. Doing this allows us offer a large number of services at a community-level and help people to stay healthy at home: we believe that the best bed is your own bed, not a hospital bed.
Fulfilling careers and a catalyst for employment
Livewell Southwest and, by necessity, the communities we serve can only thrive if we have a well-trained, highly-motivated, happy and healthy workforce. Many organisations say they listen and learn from their staff, but Livewell Southwest goes further. Investing time and effort in engaging our staff and making sure they have a meaningful say in how our organisation is run is a genuine priority. Our staff engagement council – “Our Voice” – has representation on our Board and ensure that staff can have a direct influence over things like staff benefits, well-being services and rewards, as well as helping to guide the organisation as a whole.
Offering fulfilling careers and career-long opportunities is just one of the ways we demonstrate our commitment to being a responsible employer. An Education Fund has invested over £400,000 in clinical and non-clinical professional development since 2014 alone, helping staff to hone and develop their skills across a variety of settings. A fully-paid nursing scholarship for healthcare assistants, social workers and therapists from the south west, and a pilot nursing associate scheme for Devon, have contributed to a dramatic rise in the number of nursing professionals employed at Livewell Southwest, taking our nurse vacancy rate down to just one per cent, by comparison to the national average of 10 – 20 per cent.
We also proactively find ways to create employment opportunities in the south west for people who might otherwise be left at a disadvantage in the local labour market. This includes a paid work placement programme and apprenticeship scheme that helps people on their journey to long-term employment, and a Family Nurse Partnership that supports previously looked-after teenage mums into employment, education or training.
Our partners in the voluntary sector play an invaluable role in supporting the health and well-being of the people of the south west. Working together, we become greater than the sum of our parts. Livewell Southwest wants people to interact with their local services, not just as patients but as citizens. We are committed to supporting a vibrant voluntary sector and welcome volunteers to work directly within our services. Our volunteer strategy is led by a volunteer co-ordinator who oversees volunteer recruitment, training, management and supervision and the programme to ensure that the people who volunteer with, or alongside, our services are well-supported and have a positive experience.
Our Training Academy also provides subsidised access to NHS-standard training – with grants available to the third sector – for health and social care organisations. One hundred per cent of any Training Academy surpluses are invested in the Livewell Foundation, which likewise provides grants funding for charities looking to build their volunteering skills, and capacity. Looking ahead, the Livewell Southwest Board has made a commitment to expanding our partnership programmes across the voluntary section to achieve voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) involvement in every one of our care pathways.
Being a good corporate citizen
Livewell Southwest strives to source our supplies from local providers, and to work with local businesses to help stimulate the economy in the south west. Where possible, we try to do this from other social enterprises and community interest companies to maximise social value.
We also have a dedicated environmental policy which guides our efforts to minimise our impact on the environment. From energy efficient lightbulbs across the whole Livewell Southwest estate, car sharing schemes for community teams and recycling all packaging through to diverting 100% of our waste away from landfill, Livewell Southwest is totally committed to making our organisation as green and sustainable as possible.