Agenda item

Living Well in Thurrock - Adult Social Care Transformation Programme


Les Billingham, Head of Adult Services, presented the report and stated that Thurrock had historically responded well to the challenges faced but it was becoming increasingly difficult to manage demand and the increasing complexity of that demand.  The Building Positive Futures programme was launched in 2012 to respond to the “ageing well” agenda. The new programme Living Well in Thurrock took stock of what was achieved as part of the Building Positive Futures and refreshed the vision for the future. The new programme presented an integrated vision alongside Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Group and aimed to support people to achieve fulfilled lives. The vision and supporting programme recognised the need for a system wide approach and the importance of focusing on preventing reducing and delaying the need for health and care services.


The new programme focused on the following three inter-dependent elements:


           Stronger communities

           Housing and the Built Environment

           A “whole system” approach to Health and Social Care


Les Billingham briefly summarised the challenges faced by Adult Social Care nationally, the success stories and the steps being taken to develop and deliver Living Well in Thurrock.


Councillor Collins referred to the black alert at Basildon Hospital over the Christmas period and asked if this was due to more people living in Thurrock. Les Billingham stated that there was no single factor responsible for the increase but there was a massive demand for acute services which was also related to primary care and under-doctoring in Thurrock. Les Billingham briefly explained the complex picture of the demand going up but stated that Thurrock was currently holding the line in coping with the increases.


Councillor Collins asked for specific details on the complexity of cases. Les Billingham stated that each complexity had its own challenges but could include people living longer with disabilities and living longer with common conditions such as osteoporosis, diabetics, mental health and loneliness.


Members and Officers had a brief discussion on using the Dutch Buurtzorg model to create a sustainable model for the future of domiciliary care in Thurrock.


Councillor Fish thanked Les Billingham for the report and was pleased with progress but asked what could be done to influence changes in culture. Less Billingham stated that changes would include working with communities on the stronger communities agenda.


Councillor Watkins asked the Officers for clarification on what Time Banking was. Les Billingham explained that this was a scheme run by the Voluntary Sector that enabled people to share their time with others – for example carryout out gardening for someone who required it. The hours given would then be banked and could be drawn upon by those who had earned them. Compared to other local authorities, Thurrock was excelling with over 13,000 hours banked.


Councillor Watkins asked Officers for an update on Shared Lives. Les Billingham stated that a provider had only just been appointed and that the recruitment of a local manager was underway and was pleased that two national leading organisations had put in submissions. The formal launch would take place in March 2017.


Councillor Collins asked the Officers what had been done to thank the Time Bank volunteers. Les Billingham stated that in the past the Mayor had written to thank these volunteers but emphasised to Members that this was a mutual exchange of volunteer services. Kim James stated that the 60 main contributors to the Time Bank had been invited to attend a Christmas lunch organised by Thurrock CVS.


The Chair agreed that thanks should be given to those volunteers and asked that External Communications put a thank you message out.


The Chair asked Officers if Thurrock’s plans would overcame the concerns around funding or were we saying we have a good model but ultimately we required more money. Les Billingham stated that our plans gave us the best possible change to meet the challenges and in modernising the health and wellbeing which was fit for purpose for the future. Les Billingham continued to state that Thurrock had a good chance as anyone to deliver and be able to cope with what we have to face in the future.


The Chair acknowledged that no one wanted to invest in a system to stay the same so hopefully we can push for these changes as individual councillors.




That the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee comment on the Adult Social Care Transformation Programme, Living Well in Thurrock.

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