Priority: Health and Wellbeing

Health and well being banner

Summary 

Ensuring good Health and Wellbeing for our residents remains a key priority for the Council. We’ll work ever more closely with residents and communities to encourage active lifestyles, enabling people to live longer, healthier and happier lives. Our work with the NHS and other care partners through the Integrated Care System will help co-ordinate our services and ensure residents receive the right care at the right time to meet their needs.

Vision and Objectives

Having good health and wellbeing is the key to enable people to live happy, prosperous and independent lives. Our individual health impacts everything we do in life, so we must continue our journey to support Worcestershire residents to become more active, healthy and self-reliant in managing their health for as long as they can.

The scale of the challenge is significant, and so this must be done with partners, and through unlocking community capacity to champion health and wellbeing and provide local support and opportunities for people to access.

We will continue to work closely with the NHS and other health providers to ensure all our residents are aware of ways to support their own health and wellbeing and encourage people to be responsible for their own health outcomes. Through this approach we can help people live more of their life in good health and increase healthy life expectancy.

We will engage with our communities to grow local resilience and to help support them to plan for later life. We know that the best outcomes are often achieved by empowering people to live in their own homes, rather than accessing full-time care, and therefore we will look to support this wherever possible.

This includes investing in technology to enable people to live healthily and independently in their own homes for longer and supporting preventative measures to reduce incidents which require NHS or care services such as falls.

This will also help manage the demand for our care services, enabling us to focus more resource on preventive measures that support care in the community and within people’s own homes.

Living Well in Worcestershire

We want to encourage everyone in Worcestershire to lead a healthy, active lifestyle. This is the bedrock by which people can achieve positive physical and mental health and is fundamental to improving health outcomes across our County. Our Health and Wellbeing Strategy emphasises the importance of good mental health and wellbeing, and the impact that has upon all other areas of our lives. It recognises the importance of empowering people to live well and take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, with the Council working with partners to grow community networks and link people to support in their local area.

Adopting a healthy and active lifestyle starts from a young age. This ties into our focus on ensuring all children and young people in Worcestershire have a great start in life. We will also actively work with our communities to grow local capacity and support networks through an asset-based approach, maximising the strengths of the local area. The assets within communities, such as skills and knowledge, social networks and community organisations, are all building blocks for good health. Our Being Well and Here2Help programmes will further help bring people, volunteers, charities and communities together – all of which have a key role in supporting health and wellbeing provision at a local level.

This will also support us to tackle loneliness and isolation and ensure people feel connected and involved in their local area. We will continue to invest in our natural environment, to encourage residents to use and benefit from the natural assets Worcestershire has to offer. We are also making these more accessible through significant investment in public rights of way and walking & cycling routes which all contribute to supporting people’s physical and mental health.

Independent Living and Adult Social Care

We will continue to work with our partners across Worcestershire, including through greater integration between health and social care, to support people to plan for later life. We know that if you act early, you can have the biggest impact on your later years and help support independence for longer without being reliant on direct care services. We have encouraged the use of technology to enable this, through adaptations to people’s homes to providing digital solutions that provide reassurance and support to families. We have also been successful in being part of a successful £3.3m funding bid which will see Worcestershire at the forefront of exploring how 5G connectivity can transform health and social care for rural communities.

We are flexible in the types of support we provide. We will work with people intensively if they are in a crisis to help them regain control of their life, and, wherever possible. Supporting them to return to independent living. Our approach promotes “strength based” social work and focuses on listening and connecting with people to understand their needs. In doing so, we can reduce the long-term care costs for individuals and reduce the numbers of people entering long term care homes or having very expensive services at home. We will continue to work with our trusted service providers to ensure that we can offer the right services, in the right place, at the right time and which deliver quality outcomes and value for money for our residents and users.

As commissioners of care, we will prioritise opportunities to accelerate the availability of ‘accommodation with care’, such as Extra Care housing for older residents, and supported living for younger adults with disabilities. This will enable people to maintain their independence and avoid the use of institutional care provision as much as possible which helps support our focus on independence and wellbeing. Building on the success of Here2Help we will expand our offer, through advice and information in a variety of accessible formats, to enable people to access the support available in the voluntary and community sector.

Through this joined-up approach, encouraging personal responsibility for health, maximising community resources and application of assistive technology, we will continue our journey to promote independent living and move away from the traditional care options.

Health & care services when you need them

We are working with partners across the health and social care system to ensure it meets the needs and expectations of our residents and communities. At the forefront of this will be the role of the Integrated Care System (ICS) which will bring our services, those of the NHS, other local Government services and third sector organisations together to reshape the provision of health and social care across Worcestershire. This will help realise our ambition to improve health and social care in Worcestershire and to make it work more effectively and efficiently for residents. This will also have a significant role in improving the health and wellbeing of our population.

We continue to work with our health partners to implement the “Home First” approach aiming to discharge people from hospital, within 24 hours, back to their usual place of residence. We will develop alternative provision for those who require further intensive rehabilitation to enable them to be as independent as possible following a stay in hospital.

We will also aim to continue to address relating issues to crime and disorder matters such as a reduction in hate crime, dependence on drugs and alcohol and support for victims and perpetrators of crime.

Info graphic saying 81,000 carers across the County with over 66,000 being voluntary

 

There are approximately 81,000 carers, including 66,250 voluntary carers in Worcestershire. It’s important to recognise and value carers’ vital role in society and continue to support them by working closely with our partners including the Voluntary and Community Sector. Carers will form a key link within our communities and are vital in enabling the growth of community capacity and resilience to support independent living. For all this work we’ll continue to engage closely with our partners and be guided by evidence in designing services and support structures that meet the needs of our residents and achieve the best possible outcomes with our resources.

How we will measure this

  • Increase in healthy life expectancy in Worcestershire. 
  • Increase in the % of people doing 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week. 
  • Increase in the number of people aged 65 or more living independently for longer
  • Increase in the number of people living in supported living and or extra care residences
  • Minimising the number of people who need to go into permanent residential / nursing placements.