CoNSENSo newsflash
December 2017

The CoNSENSo project has reached its half-way point and the work on evaluation and sustainability of the new care model is now underway. A global project meeting held in June 2017 helped this process along, with in particular specific workshops to collect feedback from the nurses and set-up the social business model training that will be given to all of the nurses working in the project. Read all about the different activities organised by the project partners in the third edition of the project newsflash.  Finally, all the project partners and members take this opportunity to send you their warmest season's greetings!

Project achievements

Intermediate evaluation of the regional CoNSENSo pilot actions

Comprehensive evaluation is one of the most important elements of programme intervention and should be an inherent part of each project. With CONSENSO evaluation we want to measure the extent to which a programme has caused desired changes under certain circumstances. This, broadly speaking, means that we would like to assess whether different aspects of quality of life of senior citizens in selected regions have been improved due to CONSENSO project, and which were the factors that influenced the improvement. What were the positive aspects of the presence of FCN? How can the model be improved? Is the model cost effective? In order to answer these very complex questions, numerous research methods are necessary and different stakeholders need to be involved (most importantly users, but also FCNs, stakeholders in the network, decision-makers etc.). This type of evaluation serves as an indispensable basis for decision-making by stakeholders, policy designers and political decision makers regarding the continuation, expansion, replication, scaling up the project, and its cost effectiveness.


Midterm review of CoNSENSo project at Toulon in France

It was in hot, sunny Toulon, that the CoNSENSo partners got together from 27th to 29th June for a midterm review of the project with many management and technical meetings. The meeting was held at the same time at as the "Journées Var Europe" organised by the French CoNSENSo partner, the Departement VAR, in the buildings of the University of Toulon, which gave some added visibility to the project.

The partners were also joined by many of the Family and Community Nurses from the different project pilot zones which provided the partners with real information from the field.

The first day was dedicated to project management with a steering committee and then overview presentations of the pilot work in each zone on the model testing, and on the project communication. The second day started with more in depth presentations of the methodologies and organisation of the different pilots regions with the nurse coordinators, and nurses. Workshops were equally organised with different participants in order to go deeper into certain areas, such as a specific workshop of social business models and the sustainability of the model for the expert and local authority partners, a dedicated workshop on the APP used by and with the nurses, and individual interviews with nurse co-ordinators concerning the methodology and the evaluation process. The final day's meeting commenced with a discussion on the evaluation control panel, and was followed by the validation of project management documents and a financial management meeting.



Development of an APP to collect the CoNSENSo data

The CoNSENSo  app was launched in December 2016 and tested for some months at the beginning of 2017 by all users, in order to correct bugs and refine the final version. After some meetings and debates with the App users (nurses, tutors etc.), underlining the pros and cons faced during the experimental phase on the field, ACCMED altered slightly the logic of the software and modified the database structure to meet new emerging needs.

Now the ultimate release of the App has been delivered, in order to allow users (nurses, tutors) an advanced data collection device to be applied during visits to older persons.

Here is a short report about users and records saved into the project remote server, up until October 2017:

  • 32 front-end users (A: 7; I: 15; F: 2; SLO: 8)
  • 5 test users
  • 13 back-end users
  • 4.126 older persons (A: 312; I: 1.376; F: 823; SLO: 1.705)
  • 5.439 visits (A: 1.287; I: 2.297; F: 827; SLO: 1.028)
  • 2.595 individual action plans (A: 269; I: 715; F: 816; SLO: 795)
  • 2.998 interviews (A: 280; I: 1095; F: 826; SLO: 797)
  • 910 closing interviews (A: 12; I: 165; F: 516; SLO: 217)
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, two of the teachers involved in the training of the CoNSENSo nurses talk about how focusing on prevention can revolutionise existing social and health care systems. The full interviews can be found on our website.

Interview with Paola Obbia, RN ASLCN1 Regione Piemonte; Lecturer in the Nursing Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, University of Turin, Italy

How are you involved in the CoNSENSo project?

I am a partner of the WP2. I am a lecturer of the bachelor in Nursing at the University of Turin in Preventive and Community Nursing, since 2013. I am also a lecturer of the Post Graduate Diploma in Family and Community Nursing at the University of Turin, Pavia and Lugano (Switzerland). I have obtained the MSc In Family Health at the West of Scotland University in 2016 and the PGD in Family and Community Nursing at the Turin University in 2009. The University of Turin launched this PGD for Advanced Nursing Practice in 2005, followed by the University of East Piemonte in 2012, and for this reason, the Regione Piemonte has been awarded the label of Reference Site in the European Commission programme called “European Innovative Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing” (EIPonAHA) in 2013.


What impact does CoNSENSo have on traditional nurses’ training?

The traditional Nursing training in Italy is mostly based on the hospital setting and on the response to illness that is already known. The CoNSENSo training is focused on prevention and oriented to the primary care setting and in Public Health. The WHO highlighted recently the lack of training in our workforce to recognise and manage impairments in older people. Ageist stereotypes are also a concern. The CoNSENSo training fills a big gap in our traditional training and looks at the present challenges of the Health Systems.

To take care of our ageing population, we must learn how to apply new strategies to avoid disability and loss of independence in older people, working on prevention and on integrating the social and health care with the resources of families and communities. We are facing a shortage of informal caregivers, and a constraint of human and financial resources, while the demand for care is increasing. We need innovative learning paths enabling our nurses to think critically and creatively, to act proactively, to personalise the care, empower our citizens and help them to stay at home as long as possible.


Interview with Nataša Kocjan, community nurse (patronažna medicinska sestra), Zdravstveni dom Piran, Slovenia

How are you involved in the CoNSENSo project?

I have a role in coordinating healthcare and health-social care. I also represent a connection between the doctors, the elderly and social care, as in governmental and non-governmental organisations. My work includes organising lectures and presenting the project, organising public events such as "Skupaj delamo za zdravje" (Working together for health), writing articles, helping with obtaining approvals for carrying out various projects, and of course counselling to minimise risk factors.


What impact does CoNSENSo have on traditional nurses’ training?

CoNSENSo creates the right conditions for improving the health and life quality of the elderly in their home environment. It also puts the emphasis on a good social-healthcare system.


What results to you expect from the project?

CoNSENSo should give better access to healthcare and social care services for the elderly in their home environment. It also helps develop an environment for social entrepreneurship in community care. Finally, I hope it will succeed in designing a training module for the home care nurses working in long-term care of the elderly patients in their home environment.

CoNSENSo in the regions

With the priority on the implementation of the pilot actions between May 2017 and October 2017 the project partners have carried out the following activities.

Region Piedmont, Italy

Throughout the period visits in the municipalities of Stroppo and Acceglio were on going and in parallel began the first visits in the municipalities of Elva, Dronero and Castelmagno. The project meanwhile was presented in October in the City Hall of the municipality of Prazzo (18th October) and in the parish hall of San Damiano (28th October). From the beginning of the pilot phase, 1190 visits have taken place with 378 new visits and 812 follow-up visits.

Some of the most interesting initiatives organised by the nurses in the territories were sport activities for the elderly. A course of light gym for elderly organised in the municipality of Canosio with 10 lessons in cooperation with a physiotherapist was very appreciated by the end-users! In Valgrana, Montemale and Villar San Costanzo instead of light gym, fit-walking groups were arranged involving also a private hotel that hosted, in its marvellous park, the activity for free. For the winter time, the Family and Community Nurses involved are planning to transform the fit-walking activity into a gym course to allow the elderly to meet together to both exercise and socialise. The proposed activities were well accepted by the older people living in the two valleys: indeed more than 70 of them participated!

On the training level, the nurses began in October the courses on Social Business Plan and Budget Impact analysis as foreseen in the project.


Region Liguria, Italy

Starting from September 2017 the activities of the family nurses have been concentrated especially in the area of Torriglia, the most downstream and the most populous municipality of the area. We overcame the initial difficulties in recruiting elderly thanks to a more and more effective collaboration with GPs: the 310 first visits took place and 400 second ones, for a total of 710 home visits.

The main activities the family nurses carried out in the pilot area were:

  • according to the criteria of the Epidemiologic Department of ASL3 walking groups were organised including 4 walking leader units that can continue in coordinating walking groups after the end of the experimentation;
  • meeting with ASL3 Health Director and all 6 District Directors to talk about the CoNSENSo project;
  • after attending the course for therapeutic education for diabetics, a four-days course for diabetics in Torriglia will be organised together with the regional association ASSLIDIA starting in January 2018;
  • involvement in the education and training of 4 family nurses of the ASL2;
  • engagement as lecturers within CARESS-OSS project, for the dissemination of the figure of the Family and Community nurse and the CoNSENSo experience.

Pilot regions in Slovenia

In the last reporting period, the implementation of visits to the elderly at home took place. More than 750 first preventive visits were made and the elderly are very satisfied with them. Promotional activity was also carried out at the Health Centre Piran, where the nurses promoted physical activity as a means of preventing falls of the elderly and cancerous diseases prevention with a presentation of breast and testicles self-examinations. Activities in the social field such as the promotion of "rdeča točka", social help at home  and "Rdeća tipka", an emergency call system that allows the older person to be safe when he or she lives alone, were also carried out.


As part of the Family and Community nurse training programme workshops were organised for nurses on social business, dementia and alternative treatment approaches. We have started actively preparing the basis for the creation of a social business in Slovenia, including a review of the needs of the potential users in the market and an analysis of legal possibilities in Slovenia.


Var County, France

Le project CONSENSO continue son déroulement dans le Var. Le pilote qui se déroule dans 6 communes a connu avant l’été quelques changements avec le remplacement d’une coordinatrice et l’arrivée d’une secrétaire médicale dans l’équipe. Le poste de secrétaire a été décidé pour renforcer l’éfficacité du pilote en augmentant le nombre de rendez-vous permettant aux coordinatrices territoriales médico-sociales de passer davantage de temps auprès du public cible. Le remplacement d’une infirmière CONSENSO a également été rendu nécessaire par le départ d’une coordinatrice qui a eu l’opportunité de pourvoir un poste de coordinateur en CDI. Le projet arrive maintenant sur sa phase finale puisque la fin est planifiée pour le mois de mars 2018. Les coordinatrices ont bien entendu, continué le travail de communication sur le temps en participant aux différents salons des aînés de la région. En cette fin d’année, elles participeront également aux repas de fin d’années des différents clubs du 3ème âge. S’il est difficile d’initier de nouveaux contacts à cette étape du projet, il est important de pouvoir continuer à diffuser le message de prévention et d’éveiller la conscience du plus grand nombre sur le maintien à domicile et particulièrement sur les freins au maintien chez soi. A ce jour 1400 personnes ont été visitées sur les communes participantes. Des premières discussions sont en cour au niveau local afin de pérenniser l’initiative CONSENSO. 

Future events

Information about future CoNSENSo events can be found on the project website. Several events transnational events will be organised in 2018 across the partner countries.


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