More adult social care users are being empowered to exercise control over their health and wellbeing; increasing numbers of carers are receiving support; and more people are being helped to gain independence after a period of ill health.
These are some of the highlights from this year’s Local Account - the annual report of adult social care in Tower Hamlets.
The Mayor in Cabinet approved the report on Tuesday March 20. The report shows that in 2016/17:
- 3719 people received adult social care services in Tower Hamlets
- The council spent £116 million on adult social care services - approximately a third of its general expenditure.
- There was a 10 per cent increase in requests for new support
The Local Account also highlights an increase in the numbers of adults with a learning disability helped into employment; as well as an upturn in people using technology to stay safe and independent.
Additionally, the report, co-produced with Healthwatch the organisation representing residents who use care and health services, details how the council is working more closely with the NHS and other health and voluntary organisations to manage services and deliver co-ordinated care.
Denise Radley, Corporate Director Adult Social Care said: “I would like to thank Healthwatch and all those who contributed to our Local Account. Together, we are committed to driving up standards of care for disabled, frail, vulnerable and elderly residents. It is encouraging to hear about the positive impact our focus on preventing poor health and helping residents to be as independent as possible is having.“
The Local Account sets out priorities for the future and also details how the council, faced with increasing demand for social care, is working to overcome these challenges.
Ms Radley added: “Tower Hamlets is projected to be the fastest growing borough in London over the next ten years. As our population ages and grows, it is inevitable that the demand for social care will increase.
Developing equal partnerships between those who use social care, carers and professionals will continue to play a greater role in how we work.”
Ageing Well and Adult Learning Disability are examples of new strategies developed in the past year in partnership with service users and the professionals involved in delivering services.
Ms Radley concluded: “The positive effect of this approach is there to see in the Local Account.”
Members of the Tower Hamlets Older People’s Reference Group (OPRG) helped develop Ageing Well in Tower Hamlets, a strategy for improving the experience of growing older in the borough.
The document details how the council and health partners will work with communities and organisations to create better services to ensure residents age 50 and over keep their independence and dignity with the help of community care and support services, where necessary.
The OPRG are now helping to develop a plan of action to deliver priorities set out in the strategy. The group will be monitoring progress.
Larissa Howells, director of services Age UK East London said:
“Older People from across Tower Hamlets worked directly with commissioners to co-produce the Tower Hamlets Ageing Well Strategy and all parties continue to work together to ensure that this document becomes a reality.
This piece of work has been an outstanding example of how to engage with service users, and their invaluable contributions demonstrate why it is so important to involve service users in decisions about allocation, delivery and evaluation of care.”