Plans to create the country’s biggest joint budget for health and social care services in Sheffield is set to be given the go-ahead by councillors tomorrow.
The NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group and the Sheffield Council want to create a pooled budget of £271million, meaning they will work together more closely to run services.
The new joint working will be discussed by the council’s cabinet.
The new national policy called the Better Care Fund orders CCGs and councils to pool £41 million from their existing funding - meaning that, in Sheffield, more is being added to the pot than officially required.
A report to go before councillors said the Sheffield residents often feel like they are ‘passed from pillar to post’ between different parts of the health and care system.
Health bosses hope the new joint working will improve outcomes for patients and reduce demand on health and care service.
Coun Mary Lea, cabinet member for health, care and independent living, said: “We want to help people stay well and healthy at home and make the most of community support. Working in a joined up way means we can get rid of budget restrictions that can get in the way of this.”
Dr Zak McMurray, GP and NHS Sheffield CCG Medical Director said patients will start to see care services being brought closer to home.
Sheffield Council employ 20 community support workers which work with people across the city who have a non-medical issue and are at risk of going into hospital.
Funded by the council and NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, they help to keep people independent for longer.
Karen Dale, 55, from Gleadless helps one of her patients, Walter, through the joined-up health and social care programme.
Karen said: “When I first met Walter he was very lonely. He was a big user of health services but his needs weren’t all medical.
“Walter needed help with really practical things that he couldn’t do by himself and this was getting him down. He needed a hair-cut – this was really important to him as he’s an ex-Navy man so it’s important for him to be smart.
“So I arranged for a mobile hairdresser to come out to him. She’s now stopped hairdressing but still visits Walter and cuts his hair. She’s turned into a friend of his so it means he now has someone else to visit him which he really likes.
“It’s really practical things I’ve helped with but it has made a difference.
“I can go months without Walter contacting me but he knows I’m there if he needs anything. He’ll phone me if he’s worried about something and I’ll either pop in to see him or we speak on the phone. This can just take a few minutes but it’s all it needs.
“Since I’ve been seeing Walter he’s never been in hospital once, he’s never phoned 999 or called out the doctor. He’s a more settled person. He’s not reliant on me but knows he can call if he needs to – I just helped by finding a solution to his problems.”
Walter said: “Before I got to know Karen things were not so good.
“Having Karen here has been a big change in my life – to have someone who I can go to for advice when I need it.
“Karen has helped me with my post and forms and things like that, that I can’t cope with. She also got me this nice hairdresser that comes to me now and I get a hair-cut and a beard trim and she’s nice company.”