Areas for change and improvement
To meet the challenges we face in providing care, and do it in a way which reflects what people have told us, we recognise that our services to adults in need must change and must improve. On this page we list the areas for improvement which we propose to focus our efforts upon.
Helping to quickly restore people’s confidence and skills through 'reablement'
Our community services play an invaluable role in helping people to live where they want - at home in their community. However, a fall or bout of ill health can see people being admitted to a hospital or care home for help and we know that this can be linked to people quickly losing the skills they need for independent living.
We want to help people in this position to regain as much independence as quickly as possible. We do this through an intensive programme of 'reablement'. where we will refocus our Care at Home and other services so they target help to people to quickly regain lost skills.
More housing and support solutions
Greater availability of affordable housing with the right level of help on hand is the key to many people living successfully in the community. We believe it is important to plan new housing with support in mind and we aim to support more people to be able to find houses in both the social and private sectors.
By developing Care at Home services we aim to provide more flexible help to support people live at home. People with a learning disability are also being supported with a care package to live in small housing clusters or shared housing. Care Homes will still provide accommodation for those older people with the highest needs but a programme of modernisation is also ongoing here in order to offer 'reablement' and provide a management and staffing structure that meets the needs of the service.
Better joint working
Our Joint Community Care Plan sets out our intention to deliver health, housing and social work help in a more joined up way. However, since its publication, plans have advanced for the introduction of a new integrated adult service. This service will be introduced as from 1 April and will see the NHS being the lead agancy for the delivery of services. we belive that this new service will provide one single helping process that is simpler, with less bureaucracy, and more accessible for people. This should mean earlier help, and more people getting the right help at the right time. More information can be obtained on the Planning for Integration website.
Helping people and communities help themselves
Our Joint Community Care Plan recognises that in future individuals and communities will need to do more for themselves and each other. People told us that they didn't mind this but they did want advice and support from us in order to fulfil these responsibilities.
We are keen to invest in communities as we recognise the importance of informal, lower level services that keep people physically and mentally active and socially comnnected. We have introduced three Community Development Officers and commissioned the development of a Community Development Strategy (through the Scottish Community Development Centre) and a Volunteering Strategy (from'See-Change'). These strategies are now in draft format (see our front page) and we are seeking comment on them before thri final publication and launch.
A comprehensive review of day and community services is also ongoing.
Better information and better communication
Service users and carers have told us that providing clear and accessible information and advice is essential to ensure that they know who to speak to, what services are available and how to access them. We think that by providing good information at the right time we can also help people help themselves. This could be information about ways to manage a medical condition or about benefits they may be entitled to. We believe providing good information is fundamental to people becoming more active in their care.
Carers as partners
Carers are people who provide help and support to relatives, partners, friends or neighbours without getting paid for it. This helps many people stay at home when they might otherwise have to go into a care home. It also helps prevent emergencies and stops people from needing other specialist services.
The work done by carers is immense. Unpaid carers are our partners in providing community care and we want to make sure we do all we can support them in their caring role. We have commissioned 'Connecting Carers' to provide a Highland-wide carers' centre service.
Using new technologies
Telehealth (equipment that monitors health) and telecare (equipment that monitors social care needs) can give early warning that things are not quite as they should be. Staff can intervene earlier to prevent someone becoming so ill that they eventually need emergency care in a hospital or care-home. Technology can also help carers go on caring at home by giving them confidence that things are alright.
Our proposal is to increase our use of these technologies as we believe it allows us to offer help when it’s actually needed – not just in case it is.
Being in control
We believe that people should play as full a role as possible in shaping and delivering their own care, together with their paid and unpaid carers. That way the help people get should be closely tailored to meeting their individual needs and wants. It should also mean that people feel in control of the decisions which affect their care and their lives.
Some people opt to manage their own care; this is known as Self Directed Support or SDS.
People’s lives can be affected by ongoing challenges to their health and well-being, for example, enduring mental health problems or addiction to alcohol or drugs. However we also know people can and do recover control in their lives; our role will be to support them on that journey.