24 January 2017

Northamptonshire County Council has introduced a number of measures to help alleviate the pressures in the health and social care sector in the county.

Local hospitals have been reporting increased pressures and issues around timely discharge of patients either back home or to a residential care setting.

Rising demand

Some of these delays are as a result of rising demand for social care and reduced levels of funding from central government.

Therefore, the county council is working with its health partners and care home providers to offer support and look at ways to alleviate the pressures in the health and social care sector in Northamptonshire.

In particular, the county council wants to get more providers to sign up to its care home framework in order to create more placements for older people and those with dementia, and physical or learning disabilities.

A tender initiative will be shortly be announced to allow more domiciliary care providers to help with support at home for those leaving hospital and needing support to stay at home.

A further process for residential care is also to be announced to allow additional providers to enter the market to alleviate the current pressures.

More providers

County council cabinet member for adult social care Cllr Bill Parker said: “The pressures on the health and social care system have been widely reported, not least the severe demand on our local hospitals.

“A further tender process, will allow us to bring more providers in to the local care home market to meet current demand. The more providers we have, the better able we are to find the right care package for the right person at the right cost.

“At the same time, this process allows us to give further clarity for providers about what fees we will pay for care.”

The county council has an Expected to Pay Rate for the cost of providing residential or nursing care per week, which helps the authority to accurately measure what it needs to contribute and help families to understand what they may need to contribute, where they are eligible to pay.

Where the council can’t arrange care at the Expected to Pay Rate because someone has high needs or complex care requiring more specialist help, the Expected to Pay Rate will provide guidance on the most the council would expect to pay for higher levels of care, based on the needs of the individual.

Budget proposal

In response to feedback from providers about the Expected to Pay Rate, the county council is currently consulting on reviewing it as part of its wider budget proposals.