New health cash to support social care in Nottinghamshire

Nottinghamshire County Council and NHS Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County are set to invest an extra £18.8m on services to help older people live safely in their own homes. The two-year investment will also reduce the need for much greater spending on costly, long-term residential and hospital care.

This new money, allocated to the Health Service under the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, has been transferred to the County Council to support the growing need for social care services to help deliver positive health benefits for an ageing population.

The joint proposals were approved by councillors at a Cabinet meeting. They will support social care spending in Nottinghamshire as the County Council care budget is squeezed by greater demand on the one hand and limited resources on the other.

Much of this joint investment will serve to protect older people from having to go into or return to hospital, promoting greater joint working and integration between health and social services. Special focus will also be placed on cutting out delays in transferring hospital patients back into the community following treatment and supporting them when they get home.

Coun Kevin Rostance, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “We’re working increasingly closely with our colleagues in the NHS to prevent older people from having to be admitted, or readmitted in to hospital, supporting them to live independently at home.

“By moving to provide more services in people’s homes, we’ll be able to provide better, more personalised care and support,” he added.

“This money will help older people with either physical or mental health problems recuperate quicker in familiar surroundings.”

Dr Chris Kenny, Director of Public Health, said: “This is excellent news for the people of Nottinghamshire. We have enormous pressures facing the local authority and the NHS and we need to ensure that people are only admitted to hospital if absolutely necessary.

“This is clearly best outcome as patients benefit by not having to spend time in hospital, as long as there is support in their homes and the community, and means resources are directed to where they are most needed.”

It’s proposed that the 2011/12 investment be focused on three key areas:

Increasing numbers requiring social care £4.5m, Targeted prevention £3.3m, Mitigating reductions in health funding £1.8m.

Full details of proposed spending across all three areas is given in the Cabinet report on ‘NHS Support for Social Care’: http://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/apps/ce/memman/memman.nsf/councildiary-details.htm?OpenAgent&unid=CCDA249CF997F46E802576100032D4F8