People with long-term mental health problems in care homes could live back in the community under a new council scheme.
The Promoting Independence project will support people with mental ill health, who currently live in 24/7 residential or nursing care, to move on to supported housing and independent living.
Over five years the number of people in long term care as a result of a mental health condition will reduce from 173 to between 105 and 120 by 2024.
In a report, council officers say: “There is a small but static group of adults with mental health conditions in Sheffield who live long term in residential or nursing care, where they receive 24/7 support.
“Individuals are placed in 24/7 care because it meets their immediate critical mental health needs. The current system has limited opportunities for individuals to build the skills that they will need to live independently in the future.
“As a result, many individuals are not actively supported to move on to their own tenancy and can remain in care for many years, even when their mental health has improved.
“These settings, while they provide a high quality of care, are restrictive and the individuals have limited opportunities to develop their own interests, become more involved in their communities, or move towards volunteering and employment.
“While it may be necessary for some people to stay in these settings long term, for many others there is an opportunity to support them to become more independent.
“This will have a positive impact on individuals with disabilities, and on health and wellbeing. It will lead to individuals having greater independence and an improved quality of life.”
If approved, the project will begin in autumn 2018 and run for five years. A new service will work with people to help them achieve their goals, whether that’s living independently or gaining a qualification,
The service will support people to develop living skills, such as managing a tenancy, while they are still in care, and will then continue to support them for the next two years.
The council would enlist funding from a “social investment partner” and a Government grant. If it goes ahead, the project will save the council up to £3.7m over the next few years.
The report says: “As well as resulting in substantially better outcomes for the individuals, this project should also result in lower costs to the public sector.
“The advantage of using social investment in this way is that we do not need to stop or reduce the current service in order to release up-front funds, as these funds will be provided by the social investor.”