Social care cash boost to take pressure of the NHS

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Around £2m is being invested in social care services in Nottinghamshire to promote independence, reduce avoidable hospital admissions and ensure people only have to stay in hospital for as long as necessary, council leaders have said.

The money is part of the county’s Better Care Fund and is being divided up as follows each year:

• £550,000 on supporting vulnerable people to have a stronger voice and have as much control as possible over the own lives through independent advocates

• £500,000 on support services for carers

• £298,000 on community workers to assist people access services that help them remain independent and avoid intensive care packages • £224,0000 on community workers for people with learning disabilities to encourage greater independence

• £200,000 on mental health crisis workers

• £173,000 on supporting young adults with a learning disability or mental health difficulty to from long-stay hospitals or residential care into more independent settings such as supported living schemes.

The county has been allocated a total of £56.1m in Better Care Funding over 2016/17 to support closer working between Nottinghamshire County Council, other local authorities and the NHS as part of the NHS’s five-year vision for transforming its services.

The county council is aware that older people prefer to remain at home and is working with health colleagues to help achieve this.

Around 92 per cent of Nottinghamshire older people were still at home 91 days after being discharged from hospital thanks to support services in 2015/16, compared to 89 percent the previous year.

Likewise, the number of older people permanently moving into residential or nursing care homes directly from hospital has reduced to 26 percent compared to 38.2 percent in 14/15.

The project aims to reduce this further and ensure as many older people as possible remain living in their own home.

Councillor Muriel Weisz, chairman of the council’s adult social care and health committee, said: “We are very proud of our performance and our excellent social care services are helping to reduce the strain that hospitals can experience when there is a high demand on beds.

“We know people do not want to remain in hospital longer than necessary and our services are supporting older patients to return home quickly with appropriate support.

“Prevention is also key and social care workers can nip issues in the bud that may lead to people needing a hospital stay by ensuring they are receiving the right support and encouraging them to remain active and independent.

“The Better Care Fund is improving the way social care teams are working with our health colleagues to make sure hospital beds are being used by patients who need them the most.”