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Agenda item


To provide an overview of the whole directorate including financial position. Members had also requested a special item on delayed discharges which is contained within this report.


Ms Karen Smith presented the Adult Services Overview Report to the Committee. She advised that there was pressure in all areas of service provision and that creative work patterns and solutions were being utilised to address pressure. She highlighted the importance of good partnership working with the NHS and being as flexible as possible in order to deal with challenges.


Ms Smith also noted the difficulties in the care at home and residential sectors and the significant financial pressure on providers. With regards to the Adult Services financial position, she noted that the budget in 2021/2022 had been balanced due to significant levels of grant funding through the pandemic and additional investment into services by the NHS. She added that the Service’s Medium Term Financial Sustainability Strategy was currently being revised.


The Committee referred to the current high levels of inflation and significant increases in the cost of living and queried whether Ms Smith felt confident that services would be maintained through the coming winter. Ms Smith noted the national challenges and the concern that care at home or residential companies could fail in the current financial climate. She noted that some providers had withdrawn from the market, but that others had entered and that the Council had retained the emergency staffing that had been established during the pandemic. The Council was working with providers in order to find creative solutions and support settings. The impact of the cost of petrol in particular was raised and Ms Smith advised that providers aimed to be innovative to reduce the burden and were considering how service provision could be amended to improve efficiency in travelling.


Members noted that the improvement in partnership working between the Council and the NHS was apparent and pleasing to see. In response, Ms Smith reported that due to the pandemic, improved joint working had been necessary and that now the relationships were in place they would continue. The work on the Transfers of Care Hub was an excellent example of this joint working.


The particular issue of the cost of insurance was noted by the Committee, with it questioned whether there was any solution to prevent other providers being unable to obtain insurance. Members noted the importance of stability for those in care homes and requested that this issue be kept on the agenda and raised with the Government.


The Committee went on to consider a presentation by Ms Christine Forsyth, Service Manager, Community Social Care in Health and Ms Charlotte Howard, Assistant Lead for Hospital Discharge Services, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on the Transfer of Care Hub. It was noted that the hub was a single point of discharge, with approximately 200 patients moving through on a daily basis. The aims of the hub included to reduce length of stay, reduce triage times and identify from admission what needed to happen to allow a person to go home. The pressure points included staffing and the provision of an 8am to 8pm, seven-day service.


In response to a question, Ms Forsyth advised that data regarding readmission rates of those that had been through the Transfer of Care Hub had not been collected. She advised that a part of the hub’s work was to ensure that services at home and in the community were ready and available prior to discharge. The Hub aimed to prevent readmission through the process. Ms Natalie Hudson, Chief Operating Officer, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust added that the rate of readmission in total was low at approximately 6%, however, this data was only collected if the readmission was within two weeks of the discharge.


It was reported that the Transfer of Care Hub did involve family in the discharge process where appropriate and that a booklet had been developed that could be provided to patients and their families as soon as they were admitted to hospital.

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