Dudley Council is set to invest £4million to continue its success in tackling the daily pressures facing health and social care services.
In the first year of a three year programme, the council invested £7million on introducing a number of measures, which have already had a considerable effect on the day-to-day running of health and social care services in the borough.
Measures introduced include 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. It helps them to return home and prevent unnecessary admissions into hospital.
Other measures include 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.
As a result, figures show there has been a 92 percent reduction in the number of people facing a delayed discharge from hospital because they are in need of social care support despite being medically fit.
In addition, 87 percent of people seen by the emergency response team have avoided an unnecessary stay in hospital and were given the support they needed to return home.
As the project enters its second year, the council will invest £4million to continue to fund existing initiatives but to introduce a number of new schemes, including extending therapy services to six days a week, which will allow more people to be discharged at weekends.
The money will also be used to increase the number of step down beds in residential settings to give greater capacity to discharge from hospital, those people who are medically fit but in need of further social care support and recovery before they are able to go home.
Funding for the three year programmes comes from a £13.9million grant from the government’s Improved Better Care Fund.
Councillor Cathy Bayton, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said:
Many of us will know from personal experience that out social care and health services are under immense pressure.
The figures for the past 12 months speak for themselves. It’s encouraging we’re moving in the right direction and ultimately we’re helping residents in our borough when they are most in need.
We will continue to spend this money wisely and make sure we get the most out of every penny we’re investing and create greater resilience across the board.
But we also need to think about what will happen at the end of the three year programme and how these initiatives could be funded long term to sustain their success.”