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Older people could receive more support in York.


5:52am 14th December 2010

Increasing Support for Older People
A greater number of older people in York could receive support at home to help them live full, independent lives, if members of City of York Council's Executive agree to plans to expand an existing service later this month (14 December).

The council's Reablement Service helps customers regain skills, or develop new ones, so they can maintain their independence. A reablement  approach  is a key part of the national social care agenda, and focuses on reducing long term dependency on home care services and thereby improving the quality of life for customers.

Changing demographic trends and increasing pressures on the current service means that it  needs to expand to approximately twice the current size. However, to expand the current in-house service in the city would cost the authority in excess of a further £1m, compared to commissioning the service from the independent sector, where the cost would be covered by the current expenditure.

When reablement works well it also delivers future financial benefits to the city. It is  estimated that an expanded service could save £696,000  in the first year and up to £1.254m each year in subsequent years.. The savings relate to a reduction in the need for long term care packages.

Given the current financial challenges facing all local authorities across the country, members will be asked to approve plans to expand the existing service at no additional cost but, using independent providers. If the proposals are agreed, existing staff would be given the option of moving to the new provider under their current terms and conditions.

Peter Dwyer,  director of Adults Children and Education said: "Older people in the city have told us clearly that they want to see more support being made available to help them live independently at home, for as long as possible. The opportunity to double the size of this important service without incurring additional costs whilst still affording employment protection to existing staff has to be seriously considered." 

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