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Supporting people to be independent

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Dudley Council is supporting hundreds of people to be more independent as it changes the way care is provided in the home.

The council launched single handed care last year as part of a raft of measures to tackle the growing pressures facing the borough’s health and social care services.

Funded by the government’s Improved Better Care Fund, single handed care is about supporting people to be more independent at home and making it easier for staff to deliver care.

Over the last few months, staff have been working closely with A picture of Councillor Cathy Bayton, cabinet member for health and adult social caremore than 200 people along with family members, friends, personal assistants and care agencies to gradually change the way is care is provided using the single handed care model.

It has seen the council invest in new specialist equipment such as hoists and specialist sheets, which have proved successful in helping people to maintain their mobility for longer, and have greater control of their movement as well as increasing bone density and strengthening muscles.

Evidence shows that the equipment and rehabilitation is helping people to do more for themselves and is having a positive impact on people’s confidence and independence.

It means that in many cases the support of one carer, rather than two, is now often all that is needed.  This offers a more personal and dignified approach to care, ensuring an individual does not feel crowded and feels more in control of their own life.  

Councillor Cathy Bayton, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said:

Our new model of care is changing services as we know them and has already attracted interest from many other authorities and care agencies who are keen to adopt a similar approach within their organisations.
The residents we’ve worked with so far have welcomed this new way of working and have told us they feel it’s given them more control over their care and greater dignity on a day-to-day basis. This is great news as we continue to roll out the service to other people who need care in the home.”

Other measures introduced with the Improved Better Care Fund include an 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 admission into hospital.  The council has also introduced length of stay targets to reduce delays of hospital discharges.

These measures along with other incentives, such as new technologies, increased levels of care at home and recruiting more social workers and occupational therapists to prevent inappropriate admissions to hospital, have had a significant impact within a short period of time.

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