New healthcare deal to help reduce pressure on Staffordshire hospitals

IMPROVEMENTS to a new healthcare contract will help more people remain independent at home and stay out of hospital or be discharged faster after treatment.

The proposed updated arrangements providing reablement services for adults will see the continuation of thousands of hours care in people’s homes.

Alan White, Deputy Leader of Staffordshire County Council and cabinet member for Health, Care and Wellbeing, said: “The provision of reablement services plays a crucial role in keeping people out of hospital in the first place, speeds up their discharge to prevent bed-blocking and reduces the need for long term care.

“Working with our partners, we provide thousands of hours of care in people’s homes every week across Staffordshire and I am delighted that this vital service will continue to make such a difference to people’s lives.

“Improvements in how we commission these services and work together will allow staff to spend more time helping people and less time on travel and administration.”

The service offers people a short period of support – usually up to six weeks – to help them regain the skills and confidence needed to live at home independently after a period of ill health. It also includes a night sitting service and the provision of palliative care.

Coun White added: “People who have been poorly want to get home and carry on living at home for as long as possible; it makes sense for them, their families and those who otherwise would have to take over care-giving.

“And this ‘Home First’ approach makes such a difference by working with people to help them either stay out of hospital or leave hospital more quickly after treatment.

“We’ve found that since March 2018 this work has supported a 40 per cent reduction in delayed discharges from hospital, while 80 per cent of those who have completed a reablement programme carry on living their lives at home without any further care needs.”

A report to be considered by Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet next week proposes entering a new agreement with Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT) for three years from April 2020 and varying the existing delivery contract with Nexxus from next month (October).

Under the agreement Staffordshire County Council will commission more than 3,000 hours of care each week across Cannock, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Tamworth and South Staffordshire, while the Clinical Commissioning Groups will oversee reablement services in the north of the county.