Age UK Lambeth is pleased to be bringing the Safe and Independent Living (SAIL) project to Lambeth. SAIL is a co-operative multi-agency referral scheme, where organisations and individuals working in the community can help people with problems outside their area of responsibility.
SAIL has its roots in Dorset, in a partnership between the Dorset Fire and Rescue and the Dorset Partnership for Older People Programme (POPP). In 2010, following a string of fire incidents in the houses of older people, it was decided a further-reaching and more flexible approach to identifying such risks was needed. Beginning with fire safety, the scheme was expanded to include other areas such as security, consumer rights and home adaptations.
SAIL works via a simple form with a number of yes-or-no questions. A person working in the community can use this guide to quickly identify an older person’s needs. Each question is associated with a partner agency, so a ‘yes’ to any question operates as a flag to bring a client to the attention of that particular organisation.
The form is then returned to the project administrator who confirms the information on the form and forwards it to the appropriate agency which offers the client support. While there is a fixed list of partner agencies who will act to help the client, the pool of referrers can include any organisation or individual working in the community. Self-referrals are also accepted.
In December 2013 the project was replicated in Southwark by Age UK Lewisham and Southwark. It has been expanded to cover a greater range of social support services available in London. The project has been a great success, receiving over 100 referrals per month by August 2014. On average, each completed referral form highlights three different issues faced by the client, resulting in around 300 separate referrals per month.
Age UK Lambeth is now extending SAIL to Lambeth. We are building on the strong links between Southwark and Lambeth health and social care services to replicate the SAIL agreement with Lambeth agencies.
Age UK Lambeth also provides the Lambeth and Southwark Older People’s Information Directory. This is a comprehensive online database of services and community groups. It helps prevent social isolation by enabling users to find the community support they seek.
Lambeth SAIL presents an opportunity for health and social care organisations in the borough to extend their reach without requiring additional funding. Through cooperation, Lambeth community organisations can provide a more holistic service to their users simply by filling in a short form and welcoming new referrals.