PROPOSALS to relocate the Council’s reablement service, with the aim of improving its ability to promote independence and recovery, will be considered at the Council’s Policy Committee this month.
A report going before the Council’s Policy Committee on Monday 14th January seeks approval to relocate Reading’s Discharge to Assess (D2A) service to Charles Clore Court and to temporarily close the Willows site whilst its long-term future is decided.
The current location of the service at The Willows Care Home in south Reading is no longer suitable to sustain the service going forward or to deliver the Council’s future aspirations to better promote recovery and independence.
Charles Clore Court, an extra care housing scheme in Southcote, can deliver a service which is consistent with best practice in bed-based reablement. Extra care schemes are designed to help older residents retain as much independence and control of their lives as possible.
The proposal follows a 30 day public consultation launched in September 2018, with Council officers working closely with people and organisations affected by the changes, including service users, their friends and families, and staff.
In response to consultation feedback, which was generally supportive of the move and the proposed improvements to the service, officers have made some minor adjustments, including a proposed increase in staffing levels at the new location, to support the increase in demand.
There are also plans to provide additional skills and training to staff at the new location, as well as a phased three month period to support a safe transition and to ensure minimal staff disruption.
Cllr Tony Jones, Reading’s Lead Member for Adult Social Care, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation to help us shape the best way forward for this service. We fully appreciate any change can be daunting for those affected and we have worked closely with all those involved.
“We listened to feedback and have enhanced the proposals regarding staffing levels, as well as providing the opportunity to give additional skills and training to staff and by a phased transition period for the move.
“Despite the challenges we face financially as a Council, we are committed to protecting the most vulnerable in our community and to improving the services and facilities available. We firmly believe that the bed-based reablement service will deliver better outcomes for clients when based within a more accessible location that resembles an independent living environment – as opposed to a residential service – with its philosophy of long-term care. This will move the service closer in line with national best practice.
“Reading’s Discharge to Assess team makes a huge difference in helping people maximise their ability to live independently and also stay out of hospital. Reablement encourages people, often those who are disabled or frail, or recovering from injury or illness, to develop the confidence and skills required to allow them to continue living at home.
“I’m proud of the vital work this team does in supporting people to live independently, which also helps to reduce the pressure facing the NHS. However, in order to continue delivering a successful and sustainable service in future, changes are necessary. These proposals offer the right way forward for the future.”
The future use of the Willows building will be subject to further consultation. This review is part of a wider review across Reading Council’s Adult Social Care services in order to ensure that services are sustainable and able to meet the need of Reading’s communities, now and in the future.
The detailed Policy report can be viewed at www.reading.gov.uk/article/11467/Policy-Committee-14-JAN-2019
The ‘reablement’ discharge to assess (D2A) service evaluates the needs of people leaving hospital and aims to prevent further hospital admissions. It is provided through a partnership between Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust and Reading Council.
The service is delivered to people in their own homes, alongside short-term bed-based reablement, which is currently delivered at The Willows in south Reading.
The reablement service at the Willows is delivered from 10 flats and four residential care beds. The service previously worked alongside a residential care service of three long term dementia patients, who have now all moved to alternative accommodation.
Demand for the bed-based reablement service has declined significantly in recent years, with the majority of people supported to return home directly from hospital. Subsequently, the proposal includes a recommendation to reduce the number of beds available to match the level of need.
By co-locating the service within the extra care environment at Charles Clore Court, it is felt the service would better promote recovery and independence and would be more able to deliver better outcomes for clients. In addition this location would benefit clients as it has more accessible bathrooms and kitchens.