Improving Access to Adult Social Care in Solihull

At a recent  Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Board Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Board I attended plans to improve access to adult social care provision in the borough were put before us to consider, specifically in respect of:

  • Extra Care Development for Older People
  • Care homes development
  • Care at home development

The report can be viewed here  Improving Access to ASC Provision in Solihull – Scrutiny Oct 2017 FINAL    and paragraph 3.1 provides us with the overarching demographic picture whereby the projections of people living to aged 80 and over will rise dramatically. The Office of National Statistics tells us the over 85 population in Solihull will rise by 28% which equates to 8,500 people in Solihull – in the next 10 years.

What does this mean to Solihull?

We will have similar expectations as other areas in the country that when people live longer and where the healthy life expectancy advances are not keeping track, more and more frail older people, with complex social care needs will need to be planned for on a local level. This will include an increase in the number of dementia cases and an increase in the number of older people living alone. The number of people requiring a care need will raise.

The report outlines the wish for people to live independently in their own homes and wherever possible this is the preferred option. Here it is vital house building is able to cater for adaptations in the occupants later life. It is also important that support services are available to help our elderly population make their choices, having all the information they can have. The scrutiny board here felt that we should promote this service to people early in the process – that is, before people become too elderly and infirm.

By 2035 it is projected the borough will have an increase need of a 40% in care home places, meaning a need an additional 953 beds. The report shows there is a current under supply and our plans need to address this now.

The relevance is pretty important to the ordinary resident of the borough. Last year’s UK budget allowed local authorities to establish a precept (an extra charge) on top of the normal council tax to specifically funds adult social care pressures. It therefore means future budgets at a local level will need to address the increased spending requirements for this sector.

An interesting report that if I was not a councillor I might not bother to read. However, the stark realisation is we need to continue being inventive and more efficient in how we provide our services. Most of all, we must strive to ensure our senior citizens, and our senior citizens to be (Yes, that includes me), have a service provision that accords to their own, individual need. They deserve this.

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