Plans to invest more than six million pounds to maintain the significant improvements made in health and social care services have been outlined.
In a budget report which will go to Dudley Council’s cabinet when it meets on Thursday October 31, members will be asked to approve a £6.6million spend over the next three years to sustain the improvements made through the Better Care Fund to ease the pressure on local health services.
The money will be used to maintain a number of initiatives which have been introduced in recent years with the £13.9 million awarded to the council from the government’s Improved Better Care Fund.
The investment has allowed the council to introduce a number of initiatives including a new emergency response team, which offers support to people who have gone to the hospital’s accident and emergency department in need of urgent social care support, additional equipment to help people in the home, increased levels of care at home and recruiting more social workers to prevent inappropriate admissions to hospital.
It’s also seen the introduction of a number of new schemes, including extending therapy services to six days a week and increasing the number of step down beds in residential settings to give greater capacity to discharge from hospital.
Over the course of the Better Care Fund investment the council was able to reduce the number of cases where someone was delayed a transfer from hospital as they needed social care support by more than 85 percent.
Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said:
The investment in health and adult social care services in the last three years has had a big impact on the way people access services.
We have put specific measures in place, which are preventing our most vulnerable people from experiencing lengthy and unnecessary stays in hospital and freeing up hospital beds for people who need them most.
As a council we see the value in maintaining the services we’ve created as we move forward and this is why we’re making a commitment to invest more than £6million.
This will allow us to continue to support people to live more independently, which is something we champion in Dudley. This investment is vital to ensure we can continue to run a safe and effective service to meet the needs of local people.”
The improvements in the last three years saw Dudley Council’s assessment and independence team pick up a silver award in the transformation of social care category at the national Public Sector Transformation IESE Awards earlier this year.
The award recognised the team’s efforts in radically overhauling services to tackle the growing pressures facing health and social care.