CoNSENSo newsflash
June 2017

December 2016- to April 2017 has been a period of consolidation on the CoNSENSo project. A large part of the first year, was spent setting up the CoNSENSo care model within the territories, through the selection of the pilot zones, the recruiting and training of the Family and Community Nurses, and the meticulous task of informing and reassuring all the local stakeholders about the objectives and practical set-up of the project in the communities. So in 2017 the essential work testing the model has begun with the implementation of the CoNSENSo care programme by the nurses in the five chosen test zones. A joint training workshop with the project partners, nursing coordinators and staff in early April 2017 on social business models, proved to be an essential moment to exchange and take a critical look on both the daily work and local expectations. Adjustments can therefore be applied and subsequently tested that take into account the reality of the situation of older persons in the Alpine area.  

Project achievements

Updates on the CoNSENSo pilot actions in the regions


One of the key objectives of the project is to test the relevance and possible challenges of the CoNSENSo care model on the field through pilot zones where groups of nurses would visit and assess older persons needs and provide support and health prevention education to allow them to stay at hope as long as possible. Two different typologies of area have been chosen for the pilots testing with some different challenges: isolated mountainous regions and coastal regions where populations very according to the season.


In Austria, the Eisenkappel area has been chosen where more than 60% of inhabitants live in mountain-areas, and many alone. This mountain area consists of narrow streets, old houses, and is hardly passable in winter. The two other mountain regions are in Italy where two valleys in the district of Cuneo and the valley Alta Val Trebbia near Genova.


The two coastal regions are Piran in Slovenia, which while not alpine has many small towns and hamlets scattered over the area with narrow streets, apartments with numerous floors and steps and the area of Grimaud in the Var county in France.


Teams of approximately 4 Family and Community Nurses have been set-up in each area and they have all started working in their territories at the end of 2016. While their welcome in each community has not always been pleasant (sometimes they are ignored by family doctors, families have refused help, …), a combined number of over 1000 older persons have been visited over the first 4 month period through CoNSENSo.



Transnational meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia.


The CoNSENSo project partners got together at the Social Protection Institute of the Republic of Slovenia in Ljubljana on 17th and 18th November 2016 to discuss the advancement of the project.



During this two day meeting, the partners took time to discuss how the testing of the care model was taking place in each of the pilot zones. In particular, the problems arising from different national legislations in terms of access to personal data was highlighted. This can have an impact of the evaluation so the partners shared potential solutions and ideas on how implementation could be improved. The tablet application provided by ACCMED for the nurses was also presented and discussed. The app has been tested and the partners considered elements for final tuning before it can be released for use by the nurses. Finally, a steering committee meeting was held, including the project communication tools and publications.

Social Business planning meeting, Klagenfurt


It was around the theme of social business planning that the CoNSENSo project partners and nurses got together on 6th and 7th April in Klagenfurt, Austria.  They had the privilege of being welcomed by the Vice Governor of Carinthia Ms Beate Prettner who explained how important the project work is for the region.



On the first day, the social business workshop was the opportunity to discuss in detail the project business model across regions and countries. The creativity of working in a transnational environment came to the fore when divergences arose between the partners on which business model to apply for the sustainability of care model. The partners left the workshop with several new ideas to explore, which will be discussed during the next meeting in Toulon at the end of June 2017.  The second day of the meeting was focused on a first assessment of the pilot actions and the usability of the project app. The nurses were particularly happy to share and discuss their different experiences on the field together.

What CoNSENSo means to me …

In the different issues of the CoNSENSo project newsflash, we will share grassroots interviews from the regional territories showing the impact and expectations of the project on the ground. In this issue, we show the portraits of two CoNSENSo nurses working with older persons in Austria and France. The full interview can be found on our website.

Interview with Judith Wistrela, working as a Family and Community Nurse for the municipality of Bad Eisenkappel, Austria

What are the expectations of the community you are working in about the project?

The municipality had no expectations at all. It could not imagine my field of activity and thought it would really be nothing special- just a few questions. On the other hand, the expectations of many people I visit are very high. Some clients think that it is me who could solve all their problems. They rely on me, even if I explain to them, that some problem is not solvable or only in a very long time.

However, the expectations have changed over the last few months. Since a lot of feedback has come from people, the local politicians began to be interested in it and are now looking forward to a discussion about their personal family circumstances.



Can you describe a typical day of your work?

A typical day begins with the processing of the collected data of the previous day. I make appointments for customers, make calls to authorities or health insurance funds, and make inquiries or requests. Write down reasons for why someone needs something special.  I search for funds that are not financed by the health insurance funds and financially affordable for the clients. Also I search for official information on specific disease pattern and I design and write summarizing information sheets, individualized for the patient’s interests. Good sources are the websites of the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs.


I often phone individual clients to ask about their condition or the progress of their worries and thus avoid unnecessary house visits.


Depending on how much I have to do, in the late morning I start visiting clients who are on my list for necessary house visits.


Depending on the address of the client, I then visit people who are already on my list and live nearby. This list is based on recommendations from many different sides. From already managed clients, from neighbours, from the family doctor, the medical supply stores, the post office, the seller from the supermarket, and other sides. I take them into the project and try to animate them as much as possible to self-responsibility and self-help. I provide them with information or provide them with possible assistance. During these discussions, I already get the names and addresses of other people who would need support or would be interested in the project and add them to my list.


Click on more to read the full interview

Interview with Lucie Quirin a CoNSENSo project nurse working in the Grimaud district in the Var, France

How are you involved in the CoNSENSo project?

I meet the persons covered by the project. I handle the relations with the different institutional or private partners. I fill the application in order to collect statistical data in our territory. I try to communicate on the project to inform the public and the professionals about its existence.



Can you describe a typical day of work?

Each day is different. You need to make appointments, visit the person at her home and conduct the statistical survey. I usually pay a certain number of visits every day (about 6 per day). Then I have to write accounts for each visit in order to keep track.


Depending on the situation, I also have to fill or send the necessary documents, request the implementation of the suitable assistance, check that the assistance requested for the last days/weeks is accounted for. Answer new requests that persons or partners may have, and close ended files.


Everything is done more or less at the same time, in a different order every day, because each person’s case is unique.


Click on more to read the full interview

CoNSENSo in the regions

With the priority on the implementation of the pilot actions between December 2016 and April 2017 the project partners have carried out the following activities. 



Region Carinthia, Austria

In the period December 2016 to April 2017 the Region Carinthia successfully started the implementation of their piloting phase in the municipalities of Malta, Bad Kleinkirchheim, Reichenau, St. Paul/Lav., St. Georgen/Lav., Lavamünd, Sittersdorf and Bad Eisenkappel with the help of 7 community nurses. They also held multiple information events on site and managed to raise the number of participating clients up to 300 in total. Monthly meetings are hosted with the community nurses in order to support the project`s progress and stay in direct contact with the nurses working on the field.


In terms of dissemination, an article appeared in the nationwide Austrian weekly magazine the "Ganze Woche", and there was a 3 min TV spot in the regional evening news, raising considerable awareness for the project.



Region Piedmont, Italy

The CoNSENSo project met the citizens of Roccabruna on 17.12.2016 to introduce them to the Family and Community Nurses.







On March 21st, the Piemont pilot area mayors from Acceglio and Canosio, together with the representatives of the Cuneo 1 Health Unit, and the coordinating partner the “City of Turin” Health Unit, welcomed a delegation coming from the “Comunità Montana Alburni” (Mountains Community) from the province of Salerno, the Turin 4 Health Unit and the Regional Public Housing Agency. The CoNSENSo project was presented in detail in order to verify its feasibility within the respective territories, including the metropolitan area. Discussions and exchanges included the elements concerning the implementation of the care model as well as the activation of the needed resources to be able to start the organisational model. Representatives of the Epidemiology Service were also present at the meeting in order to stimulate collaboration aimed at processing and analysing data obtained from the pilot testing.


Region Liguria, Italy

The CoNSENSo project pilot officially started in the Liguria Region and in particular in Alta Val trebbia on 28th November 2016. The official launch took place in the town hall of Gorreto in Alta Val trebbia. Many people took part including the senior nurse, the three CoNSENSo Family and Community Nurses, the general pratictioner, the mayor, the parish priest and many senior citizens. It was a moment of presentation and sharing for the CoNSENSo project. During the event, the family nurses organised a lot of appointments and now they will begin the home visits.


As part of the implementation of the CoNSENSo project within the AltaVal Trebbia district, Genova, the Family and Community Nurses in collaboration with Dr. Paola Perfumo, Head of the Centre for Strokes and Cerebrovascular diseases in the  Department of Neurology - Hospital Villa Scassi, Genova, organised a meeting on Saturday 21.01.2017 in the townhall of the Municipality of Gorreto on how to recognise the warning signs of a stroke as early as possible.


On March 31st 2017 in Genoa, all Italian project partners met at the Academy of Medicine to discuss the CoNSENSo APP and the critical issues that have emerged since the start of use of the APP.  Following the feedback of the nurses who use it in their daily activities, suggestions for changes to the instrument were made. Also in this meeting was confirmed the close bilateral relationship between research and action as the indications from those working in the field have been considered to improve the quality of the App.


Pilot regions in Slovenia

The CoNSENSo project was presented to the elderly population by the Slovenian CoNSENSo team of nurses during the event "Together for Health", held at the Health Centre Piran for the local communities on 8th April 2017. During the event the project was presented to people aged over 65 and their families. The importance of Family Community Nurses visits to elderly homes was promoted with practical advice on effective physical activity that strengthens balance, muscles and prevent falls. Participants carried out a short Test "Get Up and Go", a screening test to assess the risk for falls. Participants interest was also attracted with the “Chair-Stand Test” that measure lower body strength. The audience showed interest in participating in the project and expressed the need for the Family and Community Nurses working with elderly in their homes.



University Primorska Faculty of Health Sciences presented CoNSENSo project in Utrip: Utrip is the national newspaper of the Nursing and Midwives Association of Slovenia. In October's number we presented the project CoNSENSo, in November's number we presented CoNSENSo promotional activities that were performed in Slovenian local communities.





Future events

Upcoming CoNSENSo dissemination events in 2017

  • Atelier « Présentation du projet CONSENSO (Autonomie des personnes âgées. CD83) » at the Journées VAR Europe, 28.06.2017, Toulon, France.
  • Presentation of the CoNSENSo project at the 11th Congress of Nursing and Midwifery in Slovenia "Nurses and midwives - the key of the health care system", 27, 28, 29 November 2017, Kranj, Slovenia.
  • Presentation of CoNSENSo to the elderly living in the local communities where the project is implemented: Piran, Portorož, Sečovlje, Padna, Strunjan, Lucija (Slovenia) in September 2017.


CoNSENSo in a nutshell

“CoNSENSo: Innovating to provide better health & social care for senior citizens in the Alpine Space”

The aim of the CoNSENSo project is to develop a care model that puts older adults at the centre of health and social care, building on the crucial role of the Family and Community Nurse: a key person to help and support the daily activities of older persons and their families.

This new model of health & social care will be tested during the project in 5 pilot regions through

  • providing dedicated training for nurses
  • evaluating the benefits of the model in zones with diverse territorial challenges, compared to areas not using the model
  • working on how to make the care model sustainable in the different countries

Led by the Piedmonte Region, CoNSENSo brings together 10 partners from Austria, France, Italy and Slovenia and 7 observers representing governmental ministries, health authorities and professional associations from the Alpine Space area. The project runs for 36 months starting in December 2015.

European Regional Development Fund