[David Watts, Service Director - Adult Social Care, to present report]
A report was submitted to provide the Panel with an update about the progress of the promoting independence for older people project, which had commenced on 18 April 2016 and was due to close on 1 June 2017.
Officers stated that an occupational therapist had now been brought on board and a number of positive outcomes were being generated. Officers confirmed that the Promoting Independence team had not been co-located in order to allow team members to operate out of existing locality bases and reduce costs.
Officers stated that they were also reducing the number of double handed visits where appropriate and ensuring that carers all had the appropriate training and the right equipment. Carers were also now able e to carry out more 30 minute visits instead of 15 minute visits. Officers stated that where possible admission to a home would be delayed as people were happier in their own homes if they could be provided with the correct support. The telecare system was also being expanded and Officers stated that if required a report on this could be brought to a future meeting. Members considered that in some circumstances people might actually be better off in a care home rather than being left on their own after a visit and that sometimes the company of other people was more beneficial that independent living. Officers stated that the telecare system would be used alongside initiatives to help address loneliness.
Members expressed concerns regarding the care that would be required in the future by people currently living independently and the aging population. Officers stated that there was a commitment to understand the current demographics and predicted growth and that the budget was a fair reflection of what was thought to be required. The Cabinet Member for Adults stated that the Council had been tasked with saving £11 million the previous year and that funding had been reduced from the Government.
Members queried whether people living independently were aware of what they were entitled to. It was stated that the Council was working closely with the University and that Financial Services had responsibility for providing welfare rights advice. Officers stated that they had supported an additional £10 million of benefits in the City which would make a massive difference to the City economy as much of this money was then spent in the area. Officers stated that they were also working with MacMillan and the CAB to help ensure that people were claiming what they were entitled to especially in relation to end of life care. Members expressed some concern regarding claims for disability living allowances which were thought to be turned down regularly and people often didn’t appeal them even though they would be likely to win an appeal. Officers stated that exercises were carried out to cross reference who was receiving what care and that these people were picked up and contacted by Officers.
Members also expressed concern regarding self-assessment in that elderly people would say that they could manage when really they couldn’t but they didn’t want to be a burden. Officers stated that social work assessments would not be carried out over the phone and that any self-assessment would only ever be used as an initial indicator.
Members remained concerned that the required capacity had still been underestimated and not fully addressed.
Resolved: That the content of the report be noted.