Health service changes announced

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People across the East Riding are set to benefit from planned changes to the way local health and social care services work, over the next two years.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council, local Clinical Commissioning Groups, health trusts, GPs and other care providers are working together to provide better support at home and earlier treatment in the community so people can remain healthy and independent in their own home without the need for urgent hospital care.

Working in partnership, local health and social care organisations believe the Better Care fund (BCF) plan they have jointly produced will lead to a wide range of benefits to the public.

The plan aims to:

Put individuals and their carers at the heart of a new joined up care and support system - people to have their care built around their needs and provided as close to home as possible or home based.

Help more people live healthier, longer, independent lives, delaying the point at which people become frail and vulnerable.

Reduce preventable admissions, both to acute hospitals and long term care and also reduce the length of patients’ hospital stays by improving community-based services.

Help identify and tackle social isolation and loneliness.

These aims will be achieved by health and social care organisations working more closely than ever before and providing patients with individual care plans, among many other joint initiatives.

John Skidmore, the council’s director of Corporate Strategy and Commissioning, said the BCF plan was the result of a huge amount of work and planning.

“This is a completely new and ambitious approach to delivering the best possible outcomes in terms of the health and wellbeing of our residents.

“At the heart of this plan is the desire to help East Riding residents live healthier, longer lives and deliver the health and social care most appropriate to them as individuals.”

“The plan has involved an enormous amount of work by all the partner organisations and it is a credit to everyone that we have developed this in such a short time and cut across organisational boundaries to focus on achieving our aim of better care for our residents.”

Residents and patients’ groups will continue to be closely involved in how health and social care services are transformed to meet their needs, with people able to have their say on the planned changes at various events and other public involvement activities.

People will also be encouraged to play their part in the process of change by leading healthier lifestyles and they will be supported to do this through a wide range of initiatives.

A number of projects which link in with the Better Care Fund and its objectives are already taking place across the East Riding. They range from schemes aimed at tackling loneliness and social isolation to ground-breaking health and wellbeing programmes such as exercise on prescription.

Jane Hawkard, chief officer for East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We already work well together across health and social care services but in future we will work much more closely together for the benefit of our residents.

“We are looking at making a difference across a range of areas from practical service changes (such as providing faster access to support teams) through to more technical system changes (such as information technology helping systems to talk to each other). 

The shared vision can best be illustrated through the telling of “Gladys’ story”.

Gladys is 80 years old with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), diabetes, increasing breathlessness, frailty and dizzy spells.

She lives independently, with a small family network locally and receives daily domiciliary care support, but has always been anxious about spending time in hospital.  With her new support team, she feels much happier.  She has a personal care plan and a dedicated number to ring. 

If she doesn’t feel well, the support team come out to see Gladys and, wherever possible, treat her in her own home or local clinic.  Everyone has a copy of Gladys’ care plan so they all know about her health history. 

Gladys now understands her condition a lot more and, best of all, this has reduced the need for admission to hospital.

The BCF plan was approved by the East Riding of Yorkshire Health and Wellbeing Board, which is made up of councillors, health officials, GPs and patients’ group representatives.

In September the BCF plan was submitted to NHS England as part of their wider Nationally Consistent Assurance Review (NCAR) process and was ‘approved with support’.

This approval recognises the excellent work being done in partnership to transform local services and improve the lives of people in the East Riding.

Health and Wellbeing Board chairman, Councillor Jonathan Owen, said: “We know people want to be supported to stay living at home, independently, for as long as possible and they want their care to be delivered at home or as close to home as possible.

“Innovative changes and better partnership working between the relevant organisations will mean people will have a bigger role in planning their own care and will lead to more people being able to live independently at home.

“Prevention is better than cure and it is our intention that health and social care will not only be more joined-up by the service providers but also more forward-planned for individuals, so more and better early intervention will reduce the need for urgent, emergency help and reduce avoidable hospital admissions.”

Included in the East Yorkshire plan’s initiatives are:

Introducing a pilot scheme called locality hubs, some of which will provide a wide range of health and social care services in the community under one roof.

Developing personalised care plans for patients.

Introducing seven-day health and social care services in the community to reduce the need for hospital admissions and to enable people to leave hospital earlier.

Improving community-based diagnostic services so people can have blood tests and IV fluids at home.

Developing a single point of contact for people in need of health or social care or who want to find out information about local services.

Further developing reablement services for long-term hospital patients so they have an easier transition when returning home.

For more details or to view the plan online go to www.eastridingofyorkshireccg.nhs.uk/bettercare

PICTURED: John Skidmore, East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s director of Corporate Strategy and Commissioning, Councillor Jonathan Owen, chairman of the East Riding of Yorkshire Health and Wellbeing Board, and Jane Hawkard, chief officer of the East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group, pictured with the East Riding of Yorkshire Better Care Fund plan.