Supporting people to live the lives they want
What is it?
We are championing a new way of working that enables everyone, especially those who are frail or vulnerable, to live the lives they want to the best of their abilities.
It helps everyone to make better use of the skills and resources from health, social care and voluntary sector organisations in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly as well as from people and their communities.
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How will we work?
The focus will be on people, their stories, their needs and their aspirations.
We recognise that everyone is different so our response will vary from person to person, but as a minimum we will:
- Listen to your story.
- Connect you up with your communities and help you access local support groups and sources of information as you require.
- Ensure you get the health and social care you want, when you want it, delivered in a way that supports your goals.
- Put the person’s needs before that of the organisation.
- Aim to prevent ill-health wherever we can.
When are the changes going to start?
We are starting now. We have already done some of this in Newquay and Penwith and it worked really well for the people who took part. They tell us they are happier, more in control of their lives and they haven’t needed to go to hospital or rely on care services as much as they used to. They say they are more connected to their friends, their relatives and their communities, and able to do things for themselves and for others and are less dependent on health and social care services.
All of the staff said they liked this way of working and it has given them greater job satisfaction.
As we go along, we’ll make changes to the way this is delivered so that it keeps getting better, as more and more people benefit. Our plan is to change all of our services so that everyone in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly can benefit.
We don’t have much time. In 2015-16 around £44 million of our health budget will move to a new budget for health and social care. The Health and Wellbeing Board is in charge of this budget. It has to be spent on the plans we’ve set out above or the Department of Health will not let Cornwall have all the money. This is not about cutting services, it is about doing something better that costs less.
What we know
We found that people are happiest and healthiest when they are active, valued members of their communities, supported by a network of family and friends, irrespective of their health conditions. People’s circumstances may mean that they still require health and care services, but they generally access services less and use them more appropriately, avoiding crisis situations.
This not only uses health and social care resources more effectively but reduces a persons’ dependency on the services and actually enables them to improve their quality of life.
We also know that a lot of people go into hospital when they could have had that help at home, or they stay in hospital longer than they need or want to.
We know that better coordinated support early on, that focuses on a person’s well-being as well as their health and care needs, can reduce their dependency on services in the long run and prevent hospital admissions.
We know there is a lot of duplication in the system which reduces our effectiveness and costs money.
Who will be involved?
To begin with, the Living Well teams will include all health and social care teams, community nurses and therapists, family doctors, carers, families and neighbours, voluntary sector organisations (in particular Age UK and Volunteer Cornwall), local community groups and of course, the people themselves.
What do local people need to do?
We need people who are generally well to do more to stay that way and we need healthy people to look after the less healthy.
Help and support will always be there but we need to ensure it is targeted where it is really needed.
People can help us by making better choices about the services they use sometimes, such as avoiding using A&E unless it is a life threatening situation.
If you want to find out more or get involved
If you are a carer or relative of a frail or vulnerable person, you feel vulnerable yourself or just someone in the community who would like to help, please get in touch.
More detailed information about Living Well is available here.