£30million to help older people regain their independence

Devon County Council’s (DCC) cabinet has supported a £15.15million increase in adult social care funding for 2017/2018 to help older people regain their independence following NHS treatment.

The money was announced in the spring 2017 Budget as part of a national directive. In total £30.34million will be provided over three years through the Better Care Fund.

The £15.15milion for the first year was agreed in principle at DCC’s Cabinet Meeting on Wednesday 14 June.

This money is additional to the extra £18.7million allocated to adult care and health in February 2017 and will now be considered by NEW Devon (North, Eastern and Western Devon) and South Devon CCGs.

Approximately half of the money in the first year (£11.1million) will be for specific local needs, distributed to each area. How the money is spent will be decided at a local level.

The remaining £4million will be used for strategic county-wide investments where it makes sense to design new Devon-wide processes and schemes.

Part of the money will be invested into Devon County Council’s Reablement Service, helping people  to get back on their feet and regain their independence after being discharged from hospital.

This will help service users gain the confidence and skills to enable them to continue to live in their own homes for longer.

The extra funding will also be used to reduce the numbers of delayed transfers of care, including transfers between hospitals and residential homes.

Money will also be invested into NHS commissioned out-of hospital services which would include support for the disabled and for those with mental health conditions.

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care & Health Services, said:  “I welcome this extra money as it will help us and our partners in the NHS to address each of these priorities.

“It has long been recognised that extended periods in hospital can be harmful, especially for older people.

“It can make it harder for them to regain their independence and return home, and makes it more likely that they will be readmitted.

“If we can help people regain their independence by providing them with what they need to take back control of their lives and by signposting them to the appropriate support it is more likely they will remain independent for longer and less reliant on care.

“We also recognise that those with disabilities do not always have access to the level of support they need, which can then affect their general health.

“All of that support can be supplemented within their community and by the voluntary sector.”