ubu is being listened to, they are starting to slowly heed our advice!
For three decades ubu has advocated moving vulnerable adults out of long term hospital care and institutions, encouraging them to live independently at the heart of their local communities. Our uStep model of innovative care and support is based on the precept. Placing the people we serve in their own homes with minimal support and encouraging them to set achievable ad aspirational goals.
The Financial Times in collaboration with the Nuffield Group, which provides private healthcare, has released a report which suggests that despite huge injections of cash, the NHS will suffer a funding deficit of £30 billion by the end of the decade, with most of that affecting social care.
That is despite a reduction in the number of A&E admissions. The two main reasons are an aging and growing population.
Interestingly the report doesn’t call for wholesale building of new hospitals, which in themselves would be unsustainable, but rather investment in intermediate care which would allow clinicians to discharge people back into their community. Have they been reading the ubu website?
The lack of investment in such services has rendered the possibility a pipe dream as services have been cut and investment short term, meaning it would be unsafe to do so.
There has to be a two pronged approach of closing down expensive ineffective institutions, long term hospitals and investing money into community care.
At a cost of £6,000 per person per week and rising, it is unsustainable and delivers no benefit to the individual or society.
Hospitalisation should be a last resort for the care of those with mental health issues who are often frightened, vulnerable and who feel at their best when in comfortable, familiar surroundings.
uStep provides that as it places the people we serve very definitely in charge of their own home, setting some goals and deciding where, and with whom they want to be. The sense of independence and freedom they feel enables them to flourish while reducing their dependence, increasing their confidence and reducing their support.
The Government is finally starting to acknowledge that early treatment and care can deliver real improvements for all.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, announced in his speech at the Lib Dem conference that from April all patients presenting with depression must start Talking Therapies within 18 weeks and young people diagnosed with psychosis must start treatment within 14 days; the same target as for cancer patients.
ubu is delighted there is finally some progress. It isn’t particularly new or radical, but it is a change of attitude that we hope will gather momentum. To give parity to mental health care in the NHS is a shift and one we hope the government will continue to implement.
Ultimately there has to be more and better community care for vulnerable adults. We have seen the improvements and changes it has made and we know how much money it saves commissioners as their costs are cut on support.
If this or any government is serious about tackling both the nation’s health and the NHS budget, then it must take more heed of what we have been saying.
Follow us for updates on @ubusupport.