We believe that councils, as well as reducing their long term care costs, should focus on getting more people living independently as possible, at the heart of local communities, improving their lives and integrating into society, rather than being shut away in institutions, or residential care.
This presents a real opportunity to get the many vulnerable adults who are in long term treatment and assessment units, residential care, or similar living back out and into their local communities just as any other citizen. Their lives will certainly be the better for it and they will be less of a financial burden.
We developed uStep to give vulnerable adults the best chance to build independent lives and become integrated in society with the personal assistance they require to achieve this. Over a period of time we have seen people displaying the most complex behaviour to us change their lives and reduce their dependency on the amount of state funded support they require.
This intent is at the heart of everything we do and is based on an integrated model of health and social care that’s been hugely successful for hundreds of people.
One such example is of a gentleman who had been in isolation for several years and who was fed through what was described as "a hole in the wall". With our specialised personal support, he was able to live in his own apartment with access to 24 hour support as he have needed it.
As a result of the innovative specialised service we provided, he made a life with real friends, and goals of his own. His enabling service reduced as he became more and more independent as a consequence becoming less of a drain on our social and health funding.
Local authorities are concerned about the costs of care for the elderly and other vulnerable adults because there will be a lifetime cap anyone will personally have to pay for out of their own pockets will be £72,000 if they can afford it. This comes into effect on 2016 but from next year councils will have to start assessing the most complex cases of which there are 400,000 nationally.
There are initial costs because of the care that the 2,500 people currently in long term hospitals need. At £6,000 per person, per week, that is unsustainable and that is one reason why Care Minister, Norman Lamb, has said that he wanted them living in more appropriate settings.
Long term institutional care is both detrimental to the health of any individual, the wealth of the nation and quite clearly needs changing. Local authorities could use the planned changes as a way of taking the initiative and tackling the care and the cost in a more effective manner by following our lead.