CoNSENSo newsflash
December 2018

That’s it! Three whole years have already flown by and CoNSENSo has reached the end of the period of realisation. But we have achieved and awful lot during those three years: we have trained nurses through a post-graduate education programme for qualified Family and Community Nurses, piloted new health care models in remote Alpine areas, brought support and assistance to 4600 elderly persons enabling them to stay at home longer, and the Austrian pilot has even shown that we have saved money for public services by doing so.  The summary of main project results can be found in this final Newsflash, the detailed reports on the project website, and last but not least please continue to stay in touch with the CoNSENSo community through our facebook page:

Project achievements

Rolling out the CoNSENSo model: not one but four models for care

The CoNSENSo model has implemented a holistically designed intervention approach, tailored to the individual’s needs, that has led to the overarching goal of improving the quality of life, and consequently enabling senior citizens an independent life at home. Well-trained Family Community Nurse (FCN) played the main role of implementing and developing this model which helped maintain the physical, psychological and social health and wellbeing of elderly. The model proved its adaptability in four different regions where we are witnessing its variations due to national/regional health and social legislation, various target groups, work methodology of FCN, places of living and other unpredictable influences from micro to macro social level. Thus, CoNSENSo did not create one, but four models of home care for the elderly, showing a diverse degree of social, health and economic effectiveness.


Final project conference and meeting in Genoa, 15-16/11/2018

The final technical meeting was held in Torriglia in Liguria on 15th November and partners had the possibility to discuss the results and final project outputs with their Interreg Alpine Space project officer. Torriglia is one of the pilot zones in the Val di Trebbia where the social innovation model was tested.

Then on 16th November, CoNSENSo held it's final project conference in Genoa, at the Ligurian Region. Many of the project outcomes and results were presented and there was much discussion on the benefits of the CoNSENSo model including:

  • the fact that the experimentation had saved the Carinthian government the equivalent of 600 000 € in nursing home fees for elders that could normally not remain at home
  • it is important to leave experimentation and go forward to a general roll out of the CoNSENSo model. This is starting in Italy where CoNSENSo will become a national standard for "inner areas"
  • not one, but 4 CoNSENSo models have been developed in relation to the specificities of each country

Focus on the project results: CoNSENSo cost savings in Austria

Within two years of piloting in different areas of Carinthia, we were able to detect some interesting findings concerning man-power, economic values and efficient savings. In average, we covered, during the piloting phase with one nurse, an area with around 1.000 inhabitants older than 65 years and 4.500 inhabitants over all. Out of 4079 elderly we treated 532 people within the project piloting. We were able to stabilise the personal situations of the elders and empower the capabilities of their families in taking care in a way that allowed the elderly to stay at their own home, rather than being turned in to a nursing home. In addition, we managed to implement essential and sustainable activities to informal carers in order to promote health and prevention to the whole family. The fact that not a single client was leaving the project during the piloting phase is a genuine prove of the high quality of the services delivered throughout the entire duration. 80 people out of the 532 treated reported that the nurses enabled them to stay at home for 963 month in total, which equals in overall savings to more than 680.000 Euros of public expenses.


Find out more about what CoNSENSo has been doing through its publications

The partners have worked hard to produce some final communication documents promoting the CoNSENSo activities and model. A detailed project brochure has been produced in 5 languages (English, French, German, Italian and Slovenian), and a photo-book “The CoNSENSo story 2016-2018” illustrating the key project achievements are all available for download on the project website. A video explaining the CoNSENSo approach to the general public, previewed at the final conference, has also been made in the five project languages and will shortly be published.

What CoNSENSo means to me …

For this final newsletter, we have decided to focus our interviews on the evaluation and impact of the CoNSENSo model. Dr. Urban Boljka from the Social Protection Institute of the Republic of Slovenia will talk about the evaluation of the main outcomes, and several elders share their very personal experience of the project collected during the evaluation phase.  

Interview with Dr. Urban Boljka, Social Protection Institute of the Republic of Slovenia

What is your role in the CoNSENSo project?

The Social Protection Institute of the Republic of Slovenia has been assigned the role of the evaluator. Throughout the pilot implementation of the CoNSENSo model we have been meticulously gathering data trying to evaluate the impact of the CoNSENSo model on the quality of life of our target population – elderly in remote Alpine regions of Europe.


What main outcomes have come out of the project pilot’s data analysis?

The elderly have benefited from the intervention in many different ways. The interventions of the family and community nurses have been tailored to the needs of each and every CoNSENSo elder. The major objective of the project has been to enable elderly to live at home independently as long as possible, and data prove this to be the case. The target group that benefited the most are the elderly who have been the most vulnerable, even before entering the project, in terms of their health and social circumstances.   


Complete interview available on the project website.

Interviews with CoNSENSo elder’s collected during the evaluation of the pilots

How did you learn about and why did you decide to join the CoNSENSo pilot?

I met the FCN while the FCN was working with my neighbour who is 85 years old. The FCN parked her car near my apartment door, I was outside working in the garden and asked the FCN “who are you?. So FCN hooked up and proposed me to enter into the project (PIE 1).


What activities did you carry out with CoNSENSo?

My house is now adapted to my needs and my daily activities. My apartment is adapted for disabled people (FRA 1).


What concrete changes has the project brought to your daily life?

My situation has improved. I got more involved. I do not want to share this activity [walking group] with my husband because the walking group is my own private space. Without CoNSESNSo I would not have the courage to go out looking for new activities (PIE 3).


CoNSENSo in the regions

Since the end of the piloting phase, the role of the partner regions has focused on the dissemination of the project results both to stakeholders within each region and more widely to over regions and on the European level. The project partners have carried out the following activities since the end of April 2018: 

Region Piedmont, Italy

The Piedmont Region has carried out two studies on the sustainability of the project. In the first, the Piedmont Region considered the opportunity to support the project after its conclusion through social entrepreneurship, analysing whether the market in mountain and rural areas was able to support this business proposal. In the second, the opportunity has been developed for the regional health system to purchase these services from social entrepreneurs, setting clear and precise prevention objectives (i.e. reduction of falls with hip fractures), such as to offset the costs incurred for provision of the same services to all the rural areas of the Piedmont Region. Both analysis confirmed the sustainability of the project and were published in the international scientific journals (BMC Health Services, International Journal of Health Planning and Management):


Regione Piemonte has also been contacted by several Regional Health Authorities – such as Regione Umbria, Regione Marche, Regione Toscana – in order to better understand the CoNSENSo care model and to train nurses for new experimentations on their territories.


Finally at the European level the project was selected as the best healthcare accessibility project by ESI Funds for Health experts, who evaluated on behalf of the European Commission the use of European structural funds in health investments in the 2016-2018 period, analysing more than 7000 projects in different thematic areas.




Region Liguria, Italy

The Ligurian experience has tried to develop a model centred on proactivity and prevention. Our FCN is the wheel rim on which converge all the nodes of the network: hospitals, community health services, social services, care givers, families, and volunteers. Taking care of people that are mainly and apparently healthy: a lot of work has been done to identify and prevent the risk of fragility. Walking groups, adapted physical activity, memory training, nutrition education are proactive interventions that will manifest their results over time. With the aim of scientifically highlighting the sustainability of the FCN, activity will continue in Liguria thanks to the national Inner areas programme.

In Liguria,   the results of the project were presented on 18th May 2019 in Genoa at the National Conference of Nurses Managers, during the report entitled "A year in the upper Val Trebbia- the CoNSENSo Project". Dissemination continued with meetings with the population, mayors and voluntary associations that were held in Torriglia, the main town of the pilot territory. On 7th June 2018 there was the presentation of the project "Walking groups", and on 22nd September 2018 the project "Memory Traning" was presented. On both occasions were presented the results of the project and its future developments.


Pilot regions in Slovenia

In Slovenia, the project was finalised with two events related to Consenso that took place on 18th September: the CONSENSO REGIONAL CONFERENCE »Preparing for healthy & independent ageing at home« and the 5th DAY OF FACULTY OF HEALTH SCIENCES CLINICAL MENTORS. The conference, organised by the University of Primorska Faculty of Health Sciences, presented the project to relevant stakeholders and the wider public in Slovenia.  Participants included representatives of the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, the Nurses and Midwives Association of Slovenia, the Community Health Centre Piran and Project Partners. The CoNSENSo content manager Dr. Giuseppe Salamina overviewed the project’s purpose, objectives and activities, project partners presented case studies by individual test areas, while Lea Lebar and Urban Boljka of the Social Protection Institute of the Republic of Slovenia summarised some main project findings and conclusions.  At the same time, the 5th DAY OF FACULTY OF HEALTH SCIENCES CLINICAL MENTORS opened with a brief presentation of the CONSENSO project by Tamara Štemberger Kolnik, followed by a lecture on Utilization of Nursing Diagnoses in the Project.


On 17th October 2018, the Older People’s Association of Piran organised the “Day of the Senior Citizens of Piran” in Avditorij Portorož. The leader of the CoNSENSo team Slovenia Tamara Štemberger Kolnik highlighted the outcomes of the CoNSENSo project in the region and expressed special thanks to all the elderly that took part in the project. At the end of the gathering the participants received in memory a fan and a pill box with the CoNSENSo logo. 


Var County, France

On Tuesday 16th October, the closing regional conference was held at the Salle Beausoleil in Grimaud. In the presence of the key actors of the pilot project and of a public concerned by the question of senior care, the first results were presented. These data were essentially extracted from the CoNSENSo application used during the project. The CCASs that participated in the project were represented and brought testimonies on the utility of CoNSENSo and the need to find a sustainable solution based on this model. Importantly, the French legislation is currently evolving and an amendment from the French Senate in November 2018 is opening up the legislative possibility for Family nurses and the coordination and inclusion of healthcare at home within the National Health and Social Security Framework.

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