Hello PPMA members and friends

We have another post in our series looking at the challenges and opportunities around the integration of Heath and Social care and Cath McCarty, Head of HR and Head of Adult Services at North Yorkshire Council looks at the good work being undertaken by North Yorkshire and a number of partners in improving social care in the region, illustrating the benefits of integrated services.

“North Yorkshire CC’s Vanguard work with NHS partners and care market studies show that our demand for services and demographic trends are five years ahead of the national average. Occupancy rates for care services is running at 95%.

North Yorkshire is an area which is fortunate to have high levels of employment, however this means that ensuring the health and social care sector is an attractive and competitive place to work is one of our major challenges.

Harrogate Vanguard is one of several pilots in the country to adopt an integrated approach to new models of care for health and social care services. Our vision is to ensure the people of Harrogate and rural districts receive high quality affordable healthcare, and play an active role in making decisions about their own health. We aim to ensure more people stay healthier and independent for longer, have choice and control over their lives and care, and that costs are reduced across the system.

The partners involved in the project are Harrogate District Foundation Trust, Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust, Harrogate & Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group, General Practitioners and North Yorkshire CC.

We have worked together to redesign care out of hospital, based on messages from our residents. Our aim is to shift investment from acute services to provide more support in the community.

We are focusing on the links between mental health, wellbeing and physical health, as well as providing a more joined up and faster response to crisis. The overall aim is to avoid hospital admissions while supporting people to take a more active role in managing their own health and wellbeing. Our voluntary sector partners are key in our work.
The project focused on streamlining operational processes to eliminate duplication across the health and care sector. This enabled the efficiencies to be reinvested, while enabling an integrated working environment.

The county council has also developed a range of prevention initiatives:

• Stronger communities, a universal prevention programme provides start-up funding, advice and support for communities across North Yorkshire, helping people to support each other. There are dozens of initiatives attached to this such as support to community libraries and community transport, sporting memories clubs and training volunteers for home visits and initiatives to connect older and isolated people with each other.

• Living Well is a new service helping people on the cusp of care to build their confidence to continue living independently at home. Council staff from a range of backgrounds comprise this new team working in partnership with clinical commissioning groups, district councils and the voluntary sector. Team members are trained to spend time with people on a one to one basis to help them achieve the outcomes they want.

• Extra Care is the county council’s flagship programme supporting people to live in their own homes with care and support when they need it. Schemes may also incorporate GP surgeries, libraries, short break respite services and specialist accommodation for people with dementia. In the last 10 years we have developed 19 schemes, three more are under construction and potentially another 30 schemes in the pipeline.”