A project aimed at helping people to remain happy, healthy and independent has won national acclaim in the prestigious Local Government Chronicle Awards 2015.
Bolton Council was highly commended by the judges for its Staying Well project in the Public Health category narrowly missing out to Telford Council.
The Staying Well project, which is delivered in partnership with NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, specifically targets those people, aged 65 and over, who don’t currently receive formal health and social care services but who could be at high risk of requiring care in the future.
The project was also shortlisted for two other awards in the Innovation and Innovative Service Delivery Model categories.
Working with GP surgeries, people are identified for a Staying Well check where a co-ordinator will visit the person in their own home. The visit enables the co-ordinator to highlight any potential risks which could lead to future health and social care needs.
Risks could include anything from an individual living in a house that’s too large for their needs or not being able to afford to heat their home, to struggling to manage medication or experiencing minor health ailments which could develop into something more serious if not addressed.
The Staying Well team has access to a range of services and information, and works closely with other agencies such as Age UK, housing services and Community Voluntary Services.
Participants are encouraged to take an active role in seeking the help recommended to them in order to maintain their independence.
Early intervention and prevention from the Staying Well team is intended to reduce the need for GP and A & E visits, and can reduce and/or delay the need for intensive health and social care services.
Deputy Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Linda Thomas, said: “This team has done some really innovative work in the community and this is a fantastic achievement.
“There is no denying we have an ageing population in Bolton, yet diminishing public sector resources, and all too often people only come to our attention when they have reached crisis point with their health needs.
“As a result we have to be smarter with the way we deliver our health and social care services and are currently driving forward with integration plans, together with Bolton NHS CCG and Bolton NHS Foundation Trust. The Staying Well project is just one example of us working together with the aim of preventing and reducing future need of our services.
“The project enables residents to be involved in decision-making and empowers them to remain independent within their own homes, while receiving the most appropriate support before their needs escalate.”
Mrs Joan Mayo (67) was able to receive adaptations in her home after being referred to the Staying Well service. She now looks forward to enjoying a shower thanks to grab rails and a built-in seat.
She said: “I was quite wary of having a shower, but not now as there’s no chance of slipping. If I feel wobbly I can grab hold of the rails and sit down. Between my co-ordinator, Kim, and my GP, I couldn’t have asked for better service. She always goes the extra mile and nothing is too much trouble. She goes all out to make me feel comfortable, and instead of feeling like an anonymous 60-something, she makes me feel useful – and that’s great.”
The awards were announced yesterday (March 11) in London and recognise the achievements of more than 200 local authorities.