As set out in a previous press release, Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, wrote to local health leaders in Essex to ask how the additional adult social care funding will be utilised in the Clacton constituency. He has now received a response from Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care on Essex County Council (ECC).

According to this letter, dated 9th November 2018, the money will be spread across the winter months. This will maximise its impact and ensure that health and social care are supported throughout the cold months. The priority is to ensure that people are supported to live independently in their own homes as far as possible and we believe that prevention is better than cure. We want investment in schemes that support the community and admissions avoidance, rather than simply buying more beds. We do not want to create dependency.

County-wide we intend to do the following:

  1. Incentivise providers to take on new packages of care over the winter period and over weekends.
  2. Set up a scheme that supports people out of hospital with live in care for a period of time, reducing the need for interim beds.
  3. Invest in longer working hours for social care employees to ensure more cover over the winter period.
  4. Fund extra capacity for mental health assessments.
  5. Invest in public health initiatives and community resilience to help prevent admissions, for example, winter warmth schemes, flu jabs and care navigators.

Locally, ECC are in discussions with the North Essex CCG and other key partners over which local schemes and investments they will support. These discussions are ongoing, but they focus on facilitating discharge from hospital and ensuring there is sufficient capacity in the local system.

ECC are developing a single pot approach that reflects all monies in the system, to support people with earlier discharges from hospital, together with preventing admissions and supporting people to remain at home. ECC recognise that North East Essex is an area of high demand on adult social care and health services and believe that the above county-wide schemes and some additional locally specific schemes will ensure that North East Essex benefits as much as possible from the £5.9m funding.

Cllr Spence said:

“This allocation of funding for local government was very welcome news and we have since had the Chancellor’s further positive announcement in the Budget that there will be more money – to address pressures on both adults and children’s social care”

Giles said:

“As I said previously, winter is a difficult time and I am pleased that the Government has provided additional funding. I am grateful to Cllr Spence for providing me with more details about how we will benefit from it in Clacton, and it is right that we are not being left behind.”