An image of County Hall in Preston city centre

Social care winter plan set to be approved

A plan to support Lancashire's adult social care services to cope with increased pressures over the winter period is set to be approved. 

There are always increased demands on hospital and community health services and social care in the winter.

The colder weather and seasonal winter flu are key factors. Furthermore, in recent years, Covid-19 has also increased the pressure on the system.

In addition, the increase in the cost of living and workforce recruitment issues are extra challenges the county council needs to address.

The proposed winter plan sets out several measures that will help the county council to cope with these demands including providing:

  • an additional 550 crisis and Home First hours to support people to remain in their own home, reduce the likelihood of an admission to hospital or a care home and avoid delays in people being discharged from hospital into social care
  • 336 additional 'Crisis Plus' hours providing enhanced short term support for people with complex care needs
  • up to 500 additional hours of reablement care to ensure people have the support and skills to live as independently as possible in their own homes, reducing the likelihood of them needing residential care or hospital treatment
  • new equipment and training to maximise use of the 115 rehabilitation and community beds in the county council's care homes
  • a Positive Ageing and Mental Health Wellbeing pilot programme to support more older people living with conditions such as dementia by making use of intermediate care beds
  • staff recruitment schemes

The plan will be considered by Lancashire County Council's cabinet at its meeting on Thursday 6 October.

County Councillor Graham Gooch, cabinet member for adult social care, said: "This plan is crucial in helping us address pressures on health and social care in the winter.

"There are many different challenges posed by issues such as the cold weather, Covid and the rise in the cost of living.

"Increasing crisis care and reablement hours to ensure people can continue to live independently in their own home will reduce reliance on hospitals and residential care.

"We're also piloting the innovative Positive Ageing and Mental Health wellbeing programme, working with our partners to make the best use of the resources we have to ensure people with conditions such as dementia have the support they need.

"We will continue to work closely with care providers to ensure we have a stable workforce across the care system and can quickly address any problems as they arise.

"Our cabinet will consider these plans at its next meeting."

For more information about the Adult Social Care Winter Plan, select the following link Cabinet – Thursday 6 October 2022.