Can social care and housing help prevent another NHS crisis?
The National Health Service (NHS) provides the free healthcare in the UK, but current research has highlighted that the NHS does not have the facilities or money to continue to treat ailing patients. The figures for patients visiting Accident and Emergency in 2014 rose by just under half a million people compared to 2013. What is also worrying is that many of these emergency calls could have be handled at the scene and did not require emergency admission.
Taking Stress off the NHS
In an effort to support the NHS, some charities have offered to support patients with care facilities. Since many patients are vulnerable and need mobile help, these charities and organisations take a large financial strain off the NHS. One particular service named HandyPersons, a collaboration between Vivo Support and Swan Care & Repair, aims to provide at-home support six days a week for vulnerable people. The notion is that if a care facility is offering a safe and secure environment for patients, there will be less likelihood of injury through falls and a warmer environment for residents to prevent respiratory illnesses. This reduces the overall costs to the NHS. Sir Stephen Bubb presented this idea to a cabinet subcommittee.
Great Savings for the Economy
Home-improvement agencies are popular in the UK, and of the 200 many of them are not-for-profit, others independent and the remainder run by housing associations or councils. Home-improvement agencies can help the NHS, as they can make homes safer for vulnerable people. The grant money that is handed out to home-improvement agencies is done so through the Foundations Independent Living Trust.
A total of £114,000 was invested by CCG/Swan Care & Repair, which helped to save the entire economy just under £950,000. Since the model proved successful, North East Essex CCG plans to commission these services until September 2015. There are also plans to determine whether outpatients would benefit from an at-home care service rather than be admitted into NHS care.
The Benefits to Vulnerable People
Although there are many vulnerable people in need of support daily, charities and organisations can help to support these individuals by giving them back a little independence. At-home care can be provided for these individuals, and this reduces the strain on the NHS, as the recent social return on investment exercise proved. The more charities and organisations that can come together to offer a similar structure to help vulnerable individuals, the greater the saving for the National Health Service.
HandyPersons, a recent collaboration between Vivo Support and Swan Care & Repair, has proven successful in helping to take the financial strain off the NHS by caring for vulnerable individuals. The social return on investment provided savings for the economy of just under £950,000. There are hopes that many other charities and organisations will provide similar services, which will reduce the burden on Accident and Emergency departments.