The Department of Health’s Partnerships for Older People scheme
has allocated some of its £60m to support councils, working
with health and the independent sector, to focus on ways to divert
older people from emergency hospital admission.
Former social care minister Stephen Ladyman said half of hospital
emergency admissions were of older people and many were avoidable.
But the National Service Framework for Older People has been
hampered by a lack of funds for prevention until recently.
As a service manager and practice teacher in the care and support
sector, I integrate national initiatives into policy that can
deliver services which drive forward good practice.
Sheltered housing offers an environment where seven of the eight
objectives of the framework can play a significant role in
preventive planning. The context can be seen in standard two: “NHS
and social care services treat older people as individuals and
enable them to make choices about their own care. This is achieved
through the single assessment process, integrated commissioning
arrangements and integrated provision of services, including
community equipment and continence services.”
Also sheltered housing, as a community resource, can offer
commissioners innovative environments for setting up new service
Support workers in sheltered housing often challenge poor practice.
At Epic Trust we use the General Social Care Council’s code of
practice to inform support staff of what can be expected of care
workers. We also require support staff to meet the NSF standards to
develop a consistency of expectations and accountability. I have
found this helps care and support providers to understand each
Health and well-being is a key outcome for Supporting People.
Effective interagency protocols to enable access to buildings and
services bring considerable benefits for service users, for staff
and for organisations who are frequently asked to demonstrate joint
Support services can be effective for vulnerable older people and
can bridge the gap between care and support sectors.
I find that effective co-ordination and interagency working ensures
that support, personal domiciliary care, medical care and supported
housing can be partners to enable vulnerable older people to obtain
community facilities and empower them to have choice, independence
Putting people first can overcome blockages and make systems work
together to drive person-centred individual care and support
Meic Phillips is assistant director of Epic Trust, a care
and support provider in London