First Contact is a Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) service that helps older residents to stay safe and independent in their own homes through one point of contact. The service is accessed by completing a simple checklist, followed by referrals to relevant organisations to provide information and advice.
The information sheet below provides an overview of the service.
What is First Contact?
First Contact is a service that helps older residents to stay safe and independent in their own homes. The service is available to anyone aged 60 and over in Lincolnshire.
How does the service work?
First Contact works by enabling people to access a wide range of services through just one point of contact.
A simple checklist helps to identify the information and advice a customer might benefit from. Completed checklists generate referrals to partner agencies, prompting them to contact the customer with the information and advice required. Partner agencies have 28 days to do so, as part of the First Contact Service Level Agreement. See below for details of partner agencies and services.
Why was First Contact introduced?
First Contact was introduced to help people access services they may otherwise have been unaware of, and to help professionals and agencies support their customers effectively by providing a quick and efficient way to make referrals. The main aims and objectives of the service are:
- Promote independence. To help people aged 60 and over to stay safe and independent in their home.
- Ease of access. To provide a single gateway through which people aged 60 and over can access services.
- Prevention and intervention. To make it easier for older people to access services before they reach crisis point, saving the need for more intrusive and costly services in the future.
- Partnership working. To bring together local public and voluntary services and prevent duplication.
Does it work? Yes!
Since launching in 2008, First Contact has helped over 7,500 people get help and support to continue living independently. Completed checklists have generated over 22,000 referrals to our partner agencies. 87% of referrals result in a service being provided to the customer.
We get great feedback from customers. In a recent customer survey…
- 99% said that the services they received were very helpful or helpful in helping them to feel safer and more independent in their own home and/or community.
- 96% said they were very satisfied or satisfied with the services they received from the agencies they were referred to.
- 97% said they were much better or better informed about services that may be available to them in the future.
- 100% said they found the First Contact checklist very easy or easy to complete.
Completing a checklist
Checklists are available in public places such as libraries, GP surgeries and community centres throughout Lincolnshire. When completed they can be sealed and sent back to us by freepost.
Customers can complete checklists themselves or friends, family and professionals can complete a checklist on their behalf, with their permission.
Customers can nominate a friend or family member to receive all contact from partner agencies on their behalf.
Checklists can be completed over the phone with our Central Coordinators by calling 01522 782172. Copies of the checklist can also be ordered via this number.
Checklists can be completed online at www.firstcontact.org.uk (click on the Get Advice tab).
The checklist is available as a Word document that can be printed or completed electronically. A copy can be downloaded from our website: http://tinyurl.com/agjkld8, or obtained by contacting the Central Coordinators on 01522 782172; email@example.com.
What happens when a checklist has been completed?
Central Coordinators process the checklist within 1 working day and make referrals to the selected agencies.
The customer, or their nominated contact person, receives a letter confirming receipt of the checklist and with details of the agencies that will contact them.
Partner agencies contact the customer, or their nominated contact person, within 28 days.
Partner agencies notify First Contact when they have made contact and provided the requested information and advice.
First Contact Central Coordinators are employed by Lincolnshire County Council and are responsible for processing completed checklist and providing support to customers, professionals and referral agencies. There are currently four Central Coordinators: Louise Allsop, Melissa Bocock, Sam Crow and Alison Whiting. They are the main contact point for the service and can be contacted on 01522 782172; firstname.lastname@example.org.
First Contact Field Coordinators are employed by Age UK Lincoln and are responsible for promoting the scheme within local areas, delivering talks to community groups and providing training to partner organisations. Their contact details are:
Gary Brown (Boston and East Lindsey) - email@example.com ; 07592 434115
Sandie Simonson (Lincoln and West Lindsey) - firstname.lastname@example.org ; 07415 350324
Jayne Thomas (South Holland and South Kesteven) - email@example.com; 07846 796093
Kathy Lote (North Kesteven) - firstname.lastname@example.org; 07971 244801
Talks and Training
First Contact can provide free talks, and training, to groups and organisations anywhere in the county. Please contact us for further details: 01522 782172; email@example.com.
Checklist questions and services
Below are the questions included on the First Contact checklist, including the agencies that respond to referrals and the advice, information and services they can provide to customers:
1. Do you have working smoke alarms on each floor of your home, know what to do in case of a fire and have an escape plan in place?
Lincolnshire Fire And Rescue
Free Home Fire Safety Check
Smoke alarms fitted with 10 year batteries
Advice on fire safety, including escape plans
2. Do you require advice regarding finding a home, a current tenancy, supported housing or homelessness concern?
Advice and assistance regarding housing needs and landlord services
3. Do you regularly find it difficult getting around the house, getting outside, getting in and out of bed, washing yourself or getting up and down stairs?
Adult Social Care (Lincolnshire County Council)
Assessment of needs which may lead to:
Home Support, Day Services, Respite Service, Residential/Nursing Home Care
Information about equipment and adaptations
4. Do you need help with repairs that need doing to your home, insulating or heating your home or want advice on how to be energy efficient?
Energy efficiency advice
Help with obtaining grants for heating and insulation
5. Are you over 65 and would you like to receive information on preventing falls in your home or are you worried about falling and/or have you fallen recently?
Age UK Falls Prevention Service
Can arrange a visit to carry out a falls prevention check
Advice and signposting to other services
6. Would you like advice on personal and home security including unwelcome visitors to your home?
Crime reduction information pack
7. Would you like advice on managing your money, debts and/or possible benefits you may be entitled to?
Citizens Advice Bureau
Advice on your rights and responsibilities on a broad range of issues including advice and support with money matters, debt, welfare benefits and housing problems
8. Would you like information on local transport in your area?
Transportation Group (Lincolnshire County Council)
Transport information pack tailored to postcode area and special requirements indicated by customer
9. Would you like information on becoming a volunteer and being more involved in your local community?
Information and advice on volunteering
Help with finding volunteering opportunities and brokerage
10. Would you like information on domestic help available such as cleaning, gardening, shopping and prescription collection? (There may be a charge for some services)
Help and advice on domestic support in the home
A targeted personal support plan
11. Do you care for a friend, partner or relative and are you interested in receiving information about the support available for unpaid carers in Lincolnshire? Please note you are an unpaid carer even if you receive benefits.
Lincolnshire Carers Team (Lincolnshire County Council)
Support with the Carers Assessment
Support with the Emergency Care Response Plan
Emotional support, information and advice
12. Would you like to lead a healthier and more fulfilled lifestyle?
NHS Health Trainer
Work with people to assess their health and lifestyle risks
Help build motivation for change
Information and support to access local sources of help
13. Would you like information about local lunch clubs, social or activity groups?
First Contact Field Coordinator
Information on local social and activity clubs
Help and information to access support and friendship at home