Praise as social care teams go 'extra mile' to support people

Vital role played in supporting discharges and keeping people out of hospital

Councillor Radford at care awards

Social care teams have had praise heaped upon them by a leading county councillor for ‘going that extra mile’ to support people over the Christmas and New Year period.

Councillor Christine Radford, cabinet member for adult social care, is today publicly acknowledging the work of staff as they continue to ensure that patients are safely discharged following the festive period, as well as providing rapid support to avoid people being admitted to hospital in the first place.

 

The Christmas and New Year period is perennially a very challenging time for all our staff, but it’s really clear they have gone that extra mile to provide support, including the absolutely vital role of keeping people out of hospital in the first place.

We are all aware of the national situation regarding pressures on hospitals, ambulance handovers and challenges in discharging people so our social care teams have been providing exceptional support to our hospitals - and will continue to do so.

As a result, many people were helped to get home quickly and safely, or helped to move to a care home, while their needs for future support are established.

We support the need to discharge people as soon as it is appropriate to do so and we do that by ensuring, in conjunction with our partners in the NHS, that people receive the correct level of care once they have left hospital.

The effort put in over the festive period - and on an ongoing basis to support people in need of social care in the county - is something of which I am really proud,”

 
 

Staff from the county council’s Crisis Response Service and HART reablement service worked every day over Christmas and the New Year period. When the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust declared a critical incident on 30 December, teams continued to support discharges.

The council’s brokerage team also provided additional support over the festive period, ensuring that people could be safely discharged from hospital by finding care services they can access at home, or by finding places in care homes where needed.

Officers from the council’s strategic commissioning service worked at pace with care home providers to secure 11 beds in a bid to support prompt discharges.

These, beds will continue into February 2023 and those placed there will have ongoing assessments of need, and staff will work with care home providers and community health services to look at how the people occupying the beds can return home with the right level of support.

The number of people requiring support with discharge changes on a daily basis, but, in Leicestershire, there are rarely more than 15-25 people waiting at any one time for support with discharge from Leicester’s acute hospitals.

Councillor Radford added: “We know that, nationally, many people are waiting for support at home and as a result, are at risk of needing hospital admission.

“In Leicestershire, the number of people in the community awaiting a social care package at any one time was under eight in total for all of December.

“This compares to more than 52 each week in the same period last year.

“We achieved this by working closely with the independent sector care agencies in Leicestershire, who also went above and beyond over the Christmas period.”

The council’s crisis response team, which works closely with colleagues in community health services, carries out a vital role in helping to avoid people being admitted to hospital in the first place, the team making swift assessments of the situation and providing support as required.

Mrs Radford said reablement and crisis services have consistently delivered large numbers of new service starts as well as high-quality and rapid care to people to get them home safely, and just as importantly, to avoid hospital admission in the first place.

Mrs Radford added that when people receive good-quality reablement support, it helps them to regain confidence and live more independent and fulfilling lives.

During December, a total of 329 new reablement packages of support were started by the HART service, Mrs Radford described this as “an amazing achievement.”

In December, the council, along with its partners at the city council, launched a staff reward scheme which gave a bonus to private sector home care workers who stayed in employment over the winter period.

 

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