Residents, service users and carers are being urged to share their views on a wide range of community-based services which support vulnerable adults to stay independent and well.
Cheshire West and Chester Council is redesigning its early intervention and prevention services, which reduce demand on traditional social care services by ensuring that people have access to the support they need to stay independent and avoid long-term care for as long as possible.
Key to this is the involvement of residents and carers currently involved with services, as well as those who may use them in the future. A number of workshops are taking place and anyone interested in taking part is being asked to express an interest.
Executive member for adult social care, Cllr Paul Dolan, said: “One of the strongest messages that we received through the consultation process is that there is a lot of confusion amongst service users about when and who to contact when trying to access services.
“We are predicting huge growth in demand for these services – by 2022 we expect the number of people in the borough aged over 65 to have increased by 44%, with 80% of residents over the age of 85 years having two or more long-term conditions.
“These are stark figures and we have to act now to ensure that our services are ready and equipped to deal with the situation. We want to ensure that the new services meet the needs of those who use them and I would encourage anyone who would like to share their view to express an interest in attending one of the events.”
The workshops, which are for service users, carers and local residents, will look to get to the heart of what is valued, what could be done differently and identify improvements for the future.
They will cover a range of areas including:
Services for people with learning disabilities
Services for people with mental health needs
Services for people with sensory impairment (visual and hearing)
Services for people with dementia and carers
Services for people who have had incidents that limit physical ability.
To express an interest in attending one of the events please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Further workshops will also be arranged in April for carers, health professionals, current service providers, health partners and practitioners.
The council currently commissions a broad range of organisations to provide these services at a cost of more than £2.5 million a year. The new model will see savings of £300,000 and an additional £775,000 invested in support services for vulnerable adults - increasing the overall annual spend to £3m.
The new model will see a three -tiered approach:
Tier 1 - universal community wellbeing services for people with low level needs
Tier 2 - targeted early intervention and prevention services for people identified as at risk to halt, or delay, deterioration and long term care
Tier 3 - re-ablement services to minimise disability or improve the level of functioning, especially those which support rapid and safe discharge from hospital.
A lead agency will hold responsibility for each of the three tiers, which will ensure co-ordination and collaboration across services and one point of contact for referrals.