Help to live at home in Doncaster

Ros Jones, Labour
Ros Jones, Labour

Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, and her cabinet have approved a new way of helping people receive care and support in their own homes.

The Help to Live at Home service will give the people who are assessed as requiring this service greater choice, reliability and flexibility replacing the current arrangement the council has with providers.

The service aims to develop and strengthen relationships with providers to deliver a high quality, personalised service to help people stay in their own homes for as long as they choose.

The number of contracted providers will be reduced from over 25 to eight which will allow the council and providers to work more closely together to deliver a high quality service for the people of Doncaster.

This change will support the council’s work to ensure community based home support is more accessible and responsive so people can exercise more choice and control over when, where and how they are supported.

The provider will work with people, where appropriate, to help enable them to regain their skills and independence.

Providers will work with the local community to identify services that will supplement social care services particularly to help reduce the person’s loneliness and isolation.

Cabinet Member Councillor Christine Mills, said “This new approach will mean local people receive high quality home care support. The Help to Live at Home service will deliver a service for the people of Doncaster which enables them to be as independent as they can be. The service will be reliable, flexible and offer choice.

“By working with a smaller number of providers we can build stronger relationships with each one and provide people with personalised care that helps them to live in their own home for as long as they wish to do so. “

The council consulted with service users, carers and current providers of home care in order to develop the new approach which will see the borough divided into four zones with one main provider working in each zone alongside four specialist providers who will work across Doncaster.

Each person who is currently receiving a domiciliary care service will be visited at home to ensure they understand the changes, and their options. They will be supported to make an informed and personalised choice.

Everyone who uses the current service will be able to change to one of the Help to Live at Home service providers or choose to receive a Direct Payment to make their own arrangements with a provider of their choice.

People who are newly assessed as requiring care and support in their own home will be offered the option of either having the Help to Live at Home service or taking a Direct Payment to make their own arrangements, with support where necessary.

Cabinet also approved three new initiatives with the Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group that will provide further care and support for local people.

A year-long pilot programme will take place in up to twelve care homes with one hundred and fifty care staff. The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association will set up a best practice support team to work with care homes to share best practice, raise the understanding of health needs and the available support pathways.

A second initiative will see syringe drivers and staff training provided by the Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Trust (RDaSH) to twenty four nursing homes. This will enable people to receive the medication they need within their nursing home, rather than experiencing the disruption of going into hospital.

As part of making Doncaster a Dementia Friendly town the final initiative will see enhancements made to Dementia support with the number of Dementia Cafes expanded from four to eight per month and the “Singing for the Brain” groups increasing to two a month. This provides extra Dementia support capacity and will mean new referrals can increase by twenty per month.

Councillor Mills, added: “These initiatives, which are part of our Better Care Fund Plan, were identified as ways of improving the quality of care provided to people and will ease the demands on the pressurised Acute Hospital Trust. We are committed to providing local residents with the best possible care.”