Over the coming years, GPs, hospitals, health workers, social care staff and others will increasingly be working side-by-side, sharing information and taking a more co-ordinated approach to the way services are delivered. Older people and people with long-term health conditions will be the first to benefit from these changes.
What this means in practice
At the moment, if someone needs to arrange care from a district nurse, for example, but also needs help to bathe or prepare a meal, they might have two or three different professionals arriving at their door and asking similar questions before help can be put in place.
With these changes, the process will become much smoother. Staff such as district nurses, community matrons, social workers and other professionals will be in a position to communicate with each other on a more regular basis and share information to support people better. Eventually patients may have a single ‘care co-ordinator’ who is their main contact point.
From the start, the teams have been working closely with local patients and their families in designing the new ways health and social care services will work together – because people who use services are in the best position to say what works well for them.
Benefits for patients
By working together, staff from all sides can more easily identify which patients are most at risk – for example, of going into hospital – and then put together a combined package of care, support and lifestyle advice designed to keep them healthier and independent for longer. If someone ends up in hospital, staff from the hospital can work with those in the community to help them leave with the right support in place.
Closer joint working will also:
- help to get rid of out of date processes that are duplicated across both health and social care
- reduce waste and bureaucracy by working as a more efficient, combined unit
- enable people in different parts of the city to have equal access to care and support
- minimise delays in care and give people the right support at an earlier stage so they are less likely to experience worsening of their condition
- reduce the need to go into hospital and enable people to better manage their condition and live as independently as possible
- improve the sense that services are 'fragmented' by reducing the number of professionals that need to be involved in one person's care, and ensuring those who do are working more closely together.
Year of Care funding
Leeds is one of seven sites piloting a new way to fund care for people with long-term health conditions. The 'Year of Care funding' model will encourage a move away from dependence on hospital to take a more holistic approach, looking at all of someone’s treatment, care and support needs over a 12-month period. Find out more on the 'Year of Care funding pilot' download below, and also at the 'Year of Care' website, see link on the right.
Please see the downloads below for further information and read about how the changes to health and social care services will affect you.