Adult Social Care - Elderly lady with carer

New integrated care approach given the green light for Northumberland communities

Communities in Northumberland are to benefit from an innovative new model for supporting adults with long-term care and support needs, following approval at Northumberland County Council’s Cabinet today (August, 3). 
The new approach to adult social care services will be one element in a wider integrated model to supporting people with care and support needs in the community, with the Council working more closely with GP practices, mental health services and the voluntary and community sector now, to provide bespoke support for Northumberland residents. 
There are also opportunities for closer integration with other Council services, including children’s services (0-19) and the preventative community support which is now being provided by Northumberland Communities Together (NCT), a community network established by the Council. 
Cath McEvoy-Carr, Executive Director of Adult Social Care and Children’s Services said: “The pandemic has seen teams from across the public sector working together more effectively than ever before, and we want to build on what has been achieved in Northumberland. 
“We are developing something called the RESET model, which stands for: 
REcovery – short term interventions following an illness, injury or support on discharge from hospital. 
Support – to learn or relearn skills to carry out daily tasks and or social integration. 
Enable – doing ‘with’ and not ‘for’, an approach to encourage independence where possible. 
Team – a dedicated team approach including Occupational Therapists, Social Workers and Reablement Support Staff. 
“Adult Social Care and Public Health staff are already working closely with our Northumberland Communities Together team providing invaluable support to communities during the pandemic by connecting, strengthening and supporting adults and young people in local communities to improve health and life chances. 
“Our aim is for all the professionals involved in a person’s care, support, therapy and treatment, to be able to operate as seamlessly as possible, sharing skills, information and capacity, and taking joint responsibility for ensuring that the person is always at the centre.”  
Under a 2011 partnership agreement with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Northumberland County Council delegated provision of most adult social care functions to the Trust, including: care management, community rehabilitation services, some specialist learning disability services and a variety of business support functions.  
In 2020, the Council proposed a new model for the integration of community-based health and care services for people with long-term disabling health conditions. This would have had separate governance arrangements, which might have involved additional NHS partners such as primary care and mental health services, to support closer integration with key health services outside the Trust. 
The Trust did not feel able to support this proposal, and came to the view that new opportunities associated with the national policy for Integrated Care Systems (ICS) meant that the formal partnership agreement was no longer necessary. As a result, the formal partnership agreement between the Council and the Trust will end on 30 September 2021. 
Cllr Wendy Pattinson, cabinet member for adults' wellbeing added: “We believe that the best way to support people with disabling long-term conditions is through integrated front-line health and social care services, delivered locally. 
“The end of the existing partnership provides an opportunity to refocus and enhance the Council’s commitment to integrated care, delivered locally to communities working with many partners including primary care and the voluntary and community sector as well as our regional NHS trusts. 
“While the link between acute hospitals and social care remains extremely important, we believe that integration with primary care and mental health services should be our key priorities over the next few years.”  
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