The Better Care Fund: Housing, Health and Care Initiatives
The Joint Housing Action Plan has generated a number of initiatives across the county. There are six overarching themes in the plan and over recent months progress has been made across numerous projects sitting under them and the wider housing and health agenda. We have worked closely with district council and voluntary and community sector colleagues to progress projects including:
Falls pick up
The CCG has been working with South West Ambulance Service to look to introduce a pick-up service for non-injurious fallers provided by Community First Responders (CFRs). Following a successful pilot which led to a significant reduction in ambulance conveyance, further CFRs are being recruited and trained and the service will be covering 80% of people in the county from November 1st. This will also mean people do not have unnecessary admissions to hospital and so are more likely to maintain their independence for longer.
Park homes Improvement Programme
The programme of improvements to park homes in the county began in April. Two contractors have been appointed to work in the county and offer insulation to park home residents. As well as a reduction of up to 50% in heating bills, the improvements are expected to reduce damp and condensation, improve the appearance of the property and reduce the carbon footprint. Data has shown park home residents have a higher rate of hospital admissions and more of certain long term conditions than residents of other accommodation. The insulation programme is expected to lead to an improvement in residents’ health and wellbeing.
A joint bid was made to the Rough Sleepers Initiative fund to support the work of the county homelessness coordinator. The bid was successful meaning a total of £108,000 was awarded to the county. This will provide three additional full time outreach workers, doubling the size of the team, and also providing funding to help people find accommodation and move in. The latest national data from the Social Impact Bonds (SIB) to support entrenched rough sleepers shows Gloucestershire has the highest number of successful outcomes of clients accessing accommodation out of all the SIBs in the country.
Homesharing enables an older person to share their house with a younger person in return for ten hours of support a week. This helps the older person remain in their own home and also reduces loneliness and isolation for both parties. A Homeshare scheme has been set up in Gloucestershire, run by Age UK with support from the CCG. Following a great deal of marketing activity the first Homeshare has been set up in Gloucester and is working very well for both the older and the younger person. Another two matches are due to start over the next few weeks and more are in the pipeline. The national Homeshare organisation have been very impressed with the speed with which the scheme has been set up in Gloucestershire and are now referring other areas to our coordinator for advice!
Frailty housing officer
The frailty housing officer has been in post for over a year now and has had a very positive impact on the lives of the people she has worked with. One of the people she has worked with was a woman who was living in residential care following a stroke. With support from the housing officer the person is now living in extra care housing meaning she is living much more independently than she was before and is able to do her own shopping and enjoy trips out.
Healthy Homes Project
This project is provided by the Citizens Advice Bureau in Gloucestershire. It provides a referral service for people with cold homes, accessible to customers, health practitioners and frontline workers. A referral to the service enables a customer to receive welfare benefit checks, appropriate energy tariff checks, small grants for household items (white goods, carpets, etc.) and support with fuel bills and other debts affecting household income. Those accessing the service receive access to all CAB services as well as agencies such as Severn Wye Energy Agency (SWEA) and customers are supported with a full case management service delivered by specialist citizens’ advice staff. This service has been operational since September 2017 and has enabled people to secure significant additional benefits and many have been supported with benefits appeals. A separate service has been operating since July at the Oncology unit in Cheltenham to support patients undergoing treatment for cancer, a group often facing issues around benefits whilst undergoing treatment.