Leicester Better Care Fund striding ahead for older people
30th October 2014 | By Liz Mattock | Posted in Better Care Fund
Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Leicester City Council are celebrating significant steps towards the launch of the local Better Care Fund after their plans for integrating health and social care services were approved by the Department of Health and Communities and Local Government today.
The £3.8bn Better Care Fund (formerly the Integration Transformation Fund) was announced by the Government in June 2013 to support health and social care services to work more closely together so that fewer people are treated in hospital and more remain independent in their own homes. Leicester City will have access to £23.261m of this fund which has been formed from existing commissioning budgets.
The Better Care Fund is being used in Leicester City for those who are aged 60 years of age and above, younger adults with three or more health conditions and anyone with dementia. The Fund is supposed to apply from April 2015, but the combined efforts of local health and social care partners, means that Leicester people are already benefitting from a more positive experience and a better quality of care.
The Fund brings together a unique combination of new and existing health and social care services to meet the needs of each individual in a way that has never been possible before. This package of care could include care plans to help patients manage existing health conditions, community nursing to care for them at home, aids such as rails and pendant alarms to allow them to live more independently or advising on other aspects of their lives that are impacting on their health.
Most of the schemes in the Leicester City plan are already live. The unscheduled care team is providing 72 hours of support for increasing numbers of frail and older people in their own homes. The Clinical Response Team is building up to full capacity so that it can attend referrals from GPs, care homes and 999, where a patient is at risk of a hospital admission. Care navigators are supporting patients at home with a holistic view of both their health and social care needs.
Professor Azhar Farooqi, GP and Chair of Leicester City CCG said: “I am delighted that our plans for the Better Care Fund have been approved, which is testament to the dedication of all of the health and social care partners to work seamlessly across organisations from the ground up.
“The Better Care Fund will play a vital role in transforming health and social care services in Leicester, delivering seamlessly integrated care in communities to reduce the reliance on acute and emergency services. This is so important to improving care for our patients that we have taken the decision to push ahead early with our plans, a decision that is already showing encouraging signs.”
Cllr Rory Palmer, Deputy Mayor for Leicester City Council and Chair of the Leicester Health & Wellbeing Board said: “It’s very good to learn that our plans for improving services as part of the Better Care Fund have been approved. Many people in Leicester are already benefiting from an improved quality of care thanks to the council’s social care team and its health partners working closer together, and this plan sets out how we intend to develop that right across the city.”
The Leicester City Better Care Fund is a collaboration between Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group and Leicester City Council, supported by local health and social care partners including Leicester City GP practices, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, East Midlands Ambulance Services, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and SSAFA Care.
As Leicestershire is a financially challenged health economy it will receive additional support in fully implementing the plan.
The BCF contributes to the Better Care Together programme, a five year strategy that is being developed across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to transform health and social care services. More information can be found at www.bettercareleicester.nhs.uk.