Plans to revolutionise mid Notts health and social care services are underway

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Plans to transform health and social care services for older residents and people with long-term health conditions in Mansfield, Ashfield and Newark and Sherwood are underway.

The five-year Better Together programme for mid-Nottinghamshire has been chosen to take a national lead on transforming care for patients by bringing together health and social care together for the first time since 1948.

Given the ongoing increase in older people needing hospital, people with long-term conditions needing social care and reducing budgets, we need to make fundamental changes to how people are cared for in hospital and in the community.

Nottinghamshire County Council and health partners are progressing the plan to make sure people receive the right care at the right time in a place closer to home, or in the patient’s own home, where possible.

Coun Joyce Bosnjak, Chair of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “Given the ongoing increase in older people needing hospital, people with long-term conditions needing social care and reducing budgets, we need to make fundamental changes to how people are cared for in hospital and in the community.

“Encouraging independence and improving access to services are at the heart of the proposed changes, which will help reduce the demand for hospital beds and allow older people to remain at home for longer with any support they need.

“The new model will require all organisations to work closely together, develop new ways of working and break down traditional organisational boundaries.

The new approach will mean that people will only need to go into hospital when they need specialist help and will be able to remain living in their familiar surroundings at home with the support they need to do so.

It is estimated there that there will be a £140m budget gap across the health and social care system in mid Nottinghamshire if plans are not put in place to address rising demands and shrinking resources.

One scheme has been piloted in Newark and Sherwood over the last 12 months involving the County Council and health partners to enable people to live independently for as long as possible with the most appropriate support.

The PRISM project currently supports older people with long-term conditions such as diabetes and dementia but will also target patients at lower risk of hospital admission.

Eight teams of health and social care professionals identify people at risk of losing their independence or going into hospital who are referred to ‘virtual wards’ within local GP practices.

They receive help and support to enable them to remain within their own home.