As part of Forum Central’s Health and Care Leaders work, we have been progressing a discussion about opportunities for the Third Sector to work in partnership with our colleagues from health and care to help reduce pressures across other parts of the system.
Building on this and subsequent conversations with NHS colleagues, a significant pot of funding has been secured through Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust (LCH) to fund support from Third Sector organisations capable of delivering funded activities to support people where they live at points of transition from hospital or Neighbourhood Teams (NTs), with a view to help prevent avoidable admission or readmission. The target group is predominantly older people, however more broadly the focus is on supporting people where they live who are assessed as living with frailty than any age specific criteria.
About the funding
Funding to deliver this work is available to Third Sector providers until March 2023. Expressions of Interest will be reviewed by Forum Central and LCH in this first phase.
About the activities
We are keen to ensure that monies are used to deliver work which is person-centred and impactful, building on current assets and utilising existing partnership structures such as the Local Care Partnerships. This could be an increase in existing worker hours or employment of additional workers alongside existing services, but we are open to ideas from Forum Central members about how this could work for the communities that you work with.
Other suggestions for delivery include:
- Checking in with an individual post discharge from statutory community services to check they are coping. Possibility to have a joint handover visit so that the individual and Third Sector worker get to know each other.
- Medication prompts – telephone or visit to remind the individual to take their medication (support and reminders, not administration)
- Visiting an individual post hospital discharge to check they are coping, has a stocked fridge, has the heating on etc
- Sharing visits with NTs when trying to avoid a hospital admission i.e. the NT would provide up to 4 visits with a Third Sector worker visiting in between to check in
- Better conversations with people regarding self-care and the week ahead
Support for Third Sector organisations
In addition to the funding, full training will be provided for paid workers to carry out the activities (this covers supporting people with medication; safeguarding; food hygiene etc).
Who is already involved?
Age UK Leeds is looking at expanding its existing, more formal Hospital to Home and Home Comfort support but the scale of need and diversity of people across our Leeds communities means complimentary, less formal and more locally-based options are now being explored through this funding. We welcome any views or thoughts from Forum Central members as well as additional capacity.
We are already seeing increased pressures on NHS services so we are interested in proposals that could start as soon as possible utilising existing capacity or recruitment initiatives, though the funding is available until March 2023, with the potential to become recurrent, so there is also time to develop ideas. We hope that if we are able to demonstrate the value of this approach as part of a longer-term integrated model, there will be potential for recurrent funding.
Training and Support
We are working with LCH to ensure that appropriate training is available for Third Sector workers undertaking the role to include input from pharmacy around support, not dispensing, of medication and safeguarding. We will ensure our members’ feedback is included as we develop this.
How to apply
If you are interested in exploring this opportunity, or discussing working in partnership with others to do so, please contact [email protected].