Access and Prevention
The access and prevention service works to keep people at home and as independent, happy and healthy as possible for as long as possible. The service offers information, advice and early support services, known as prevention services to support people in their homes and in the community. Alongside the support services the ‘access’ team provide an advice line, as well as a team of social workers who work with local people to support them and help them to find the best support to meet their needs.
What have we done over the past year?
We want information services that link together so that what we are told is accurate and consistent.
We recognise how important it is that people who use services, their families and carers receive information that is clear, current and standardised. We have been working with community partners to deliver new and improved versions of our leaflets and public information to ensure they are clear and jargon free.
Our staffed Community Information Point network continues to grow in popularity providing information and signposting to health, wellbeing and social care services as well as information about where to get benefits and debt advice.
To ensure customers have a consistent level of information concerning the costs of their care, we have introduced a finance pack that is issued to every new customer within social care. The pack includes an introductory letter, an explanation of the costs of care and leaflets about paying for care – both residential and in the community.
Our vision of seamless care without boundaries continues to develop, with links to health partners improving. Approximately 45 council social workers are working closely with Dudley’s GP Multi Disciplinary Teams (MDTs). The aim of these teams is to offer an integrated approach to providing support through bringing together professionals from health, social care and the voluntary sector, all working together to ensure a consistent approach.
We want help to stay at home and have additional support at times of difficulty.
Dudley Falls Prevention was launched in April 2017 as a unified service operating across adult social care, public health and The Dudley Group of Hospitals. The service works as a joined up group to streamline access for people who have taken a fall or are worried about falling, to a range of advice, adaptations, specialist exercise and rehabilitation services, pharmacist and clinicians. In the first year of operation referral rates for falls support have increased by 30%.
Dudley Telecare Service provides a 24/7 emergency call and response service to 10,000 people across Dudley Borough, as well as being the first point of contact for all calls to the council out of hours, answering and responding to more than 23,000 calls every month.
We have long been proud of our Telecare service, having received national recognition on a number of occasions for excellence from the Telecare Services Association (TSA), who are national independent auditors for the Telecare sector.
Dudley Telecare Service is proud to announce that they have been a member of the TSA since 2006. Last year we were the first local authority in the country to achieve the new code of practice and, following another successful recent audit, have achieved platinum status for the eleventh year running.
Our Living well, feeling safe service is led by Dudley Council, supported by local organisations, including West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire Service and local and national charities. The service works to support vulnerable and older people to stay safe, healthy, well and independent in their homes.
As part of the national loneliness and isolation agenda, work has taken place to proactively target areas where information indicates people may be at higher risk of being lonely or isolated. The partnership has reached out into these areas to deliver a series of outreach community events.
In 2017 three of these community events were held, in Coseley, Wollaston and Wrens Nest, in which:
houses were contacted to give advice on safety and security and wellbeing in their homes
people were signposted to services to enhance their safety and wellbeing
people visited community hubs to get guidance and advice from prevention and wellbeing services.
These visits will we hope help people to keep safe and well at home and feel less isolated and lonely in their communities.
For more information visit:
Our occupational therapy team is one of the key teams who's aim is to help people to remain in their own homes. The team complete asset based Care Act assessments, this means the occupational therapist works with the person to consider their strengths and what is important to them. Assessments are based on the principles of the Care Act, focusing on the impact of a physical disability or mental health condition on wellbeing. Following the assessment, equipment to aid independence such as walking frames or minor adaptations such as stair rails are ordered. The team may also recommend major adaptations such as stair lifts, ramps or bedrooms.
During 2017/18, the team received 3565 referrals, undertook 3288 assessments and made 1074 recommendations for major adaptations.
To enable more staff to have the skills to assess safely and provide small pieces of equipment quickly, the occupational therapists have trained other staff as trusted assessors. There is now a total of 80 trained trusted assessors, supporting the occupational therapy team.
The occupational therapy team work closely with colleagues across access and prevention to offer timely assessment so that equipment and adaptations are provided before someone reaches crisis point. This reduces the risk of falls, supports carers and enables people to stay at home independently for longer.
As carers we want to know what sort of support there is that will allow us to carry on caring.
A new Carers Hub and Wellbeing service launched in summer 2018 at Queens Cross Network in Dudley – a new one stop shop for the borough’s unpaid carers. The hub offers information, advice and a whole range of support to carers of all ages, including child carers and parent carers.
The Carers Network is piloting a new sitting service ‘Preventative Home Based Replacement Care’ specifically designed to maintain the health and wellbeing of carers at crisis points. This provides short term flexible support for those caring for individuals over the age of 60 or with a diagnosis of dementia, who cannot be left unsupervised. This will be closely monitored over the next year.
Information and advice is also available for carers online, with a Carers Live Chat facility being launched. The new Carers Hub Network has also teamed up with Carers UK to give carers a wide range of digital tools and essential resources intended to empower and prepare those with caring responsibilities.
Access and prevention
hits on the Dudley Community Information Directory in 2017/18
carers offered information and advice or access to universal services
carers assessed for care and support
News from 2017/18
Loneliness and Isolation
Dudley’s Health and Wellbeing Board has made the reduction of loneliness and isolation one of its three strategic goals - the subjects on which it plans to focus its energy and resources.
There is much evidence to show that loneliness affects the lives of Dudley residents more than many other parts of the country. As well as the difficulties loneliness causes for people, feelings of loneliness and isolation have been shown to increase people’s needs for health and social care services.
To reduce loneliness and social isolation the council is working on a number of projects targeting specialist services towards groups at particular risk of experiencing loneliness or social isolation.
Linda worked at a local hospital. She unfortunately subsequently developed a disability and when her symptoms worsened she had to give up work. Linda lost her confidence and began to suffer from depression, feeling socially isolated.
A family member recommended that she should try going along to Queens Cross Centre, for people with physical disabilities. on a casual drop-in basis, to get out and about and meeting people. Linda was offered a place and two years later is a regular member of the group.
Today Linda is a different person. She has made many friends at the centre and plays a full and active part in life there. She joined Disability in Action (a user led charity based at Queens Cross). She decided last year to stand for election, and has a seat on the board of trustees. Linda is now making key decisions about the direction of the service - having moved from service user to service leader at Queens Cross and Disability in Action.
Queens Cross Network
Queens Cross Network, in partnership with our local community groups and charities, offers an ever increasing range of opportunities and services for local people with disabilities or sensory impairment. These services are all designed to be totally personal and individual to each person, meeting their own needs and aspirations.
The services also help people to keep as fit, healthy and well as possible. This reduces the possibility of individuals becoming ill or their condition worsening, avoiding hospital admissions and the need for long term care.
The centre also offers people community based support to lead independent lives and acts as a hub for people to drop into whenever they need to find information, support and advice.
The council’s deaf support team continues to support the “Sign Café” that meets monthly at Queens Cross. Staff have worked with members of the deaf community and other partners to develop an “I am deaf” alert card that can be used when a deaf person is in an unfamiliar environment.
Queens cross is proud to offer people who are living with a disability the opportunity to become involved in co-producing services and opportunities working together from the vibrant hub.
For more information: http://www.dudleyci.co.uk/kb5/dudley/asch/service.page?id=PLCxzdjFW3o
Dudley Carers Alliance
Dudley Carers Alliance is a partnership group of statutory, voluntary and community organisations and carers, formed to raise awareness of carers and the issues that affect them.
The alliance works hard to highlight the needs and rights of local carers, ensuring that carers are taken into account whenever necessary. The group has has developed a carers strategy, as well as providing feedback and information to the government’s consultation on the development of a National Carers Strategy. In addition the group has launched the Dudley Carers Alliance web site, developed a carers friendly employer’s guide and pledge as part of Carers Rights Day 2016; and organised an information road show during Carers Week 2016. The Dudley Carers Alliance meets bi-monthly and is looking for carers and organisations with an interest in supporting carers to join.
The Adults Alliance
Work began during the year to establish an Adult’s Alliance in Dudley Borough as part of Dudley’s Health and Wellbeing Board commitment to a new way of working.
The Adults Alliance will be inspiring and challenging traditional approaches to providing services. This new approach is at the heart of the Health and Wellbeing Board’s goals and partnership working.
The first stage of the Alliance’s work has been to work with local people, listening to find out:
What is currently working well?
What needs to change?
What should we focus on?
What can individuals and communities do for themselves and for each other?
What can we do together (organisations and communities working together)?
The insight and themes gained from this work are informing the next stage of development of the Adults Alliance - both in terms of partnership building and new ways of working. They will:
provide inspiration to others
help people see what is possible
share learning and ideas
connect and mobilise people
This information and feedback is now being analysed to identify cross cutting issues and identify priorities to drive the next stage of development of the Adult’s Alliance. Key findings indicate that people feel the following are important things:
sense of belonging and community
Relationships and connections with others
A sense of purpose
A sense of autonomy and control
Opportunities to learn
Ability to contribute and give back
Work going forward indicates that the following areas need to be looked at as part of the new approaches:
People want to get out – we need to think about ways to help people connect outside their home
Sharing information – people listen to trusted friends, family and community leaders. We need to link in with them through these trusted networks
Growing connections – We need to look at creating informal spaces for people to mingle, meet and connect
Work with what is already there – we need to look at taking support out of buildings and bring it to where people are already gathered
Think outside the silos – ‘specialist’ services should become open to everyone; we need to find mechanisms to share resources
Think outside the issue – specialist services should focus on what matters to people rather than the ‘issue’ itself
Build connections with unusual suspects – this means building connections with people or organizations that we would not normally consider.
Case study - Mary
Mary is a 79 year old widow who lives alone in a privately owned house and desperately wants to remain independent. Her daughter lives abroad and her only other relative is her granddaughter who does not live locally. Mary has spinal pain, diagnosed vertigo and undiagnosed Parkinson’s.
Mary was referred to Dudley Falls Prevention by another council service as she had taken a fall.
Following a multifactorial assessment by a falls advisor from the service, Mary agreed to remove rugs from her sitting room, make an effort to drink more liquids and invest in better indoor footwear. She also agreed to the installation of a key safe, door chain, a second stair rail and to discuss the support available from Dudley Telecare Service. In addition she agreed to be referred to apply for attendance allowance.
Ten days later Mary contacted the service to say thank you. She was thrilled with the key safe, door chain, pendant alarm, stair rail and confirmed she had been awarded lower rate attendance allowance. Mary said that she “felt like she had won the lottery” and this extra money would enable her to get help to remain independent in her own home. She also stated she had not had any more falls or trips.
Case study - Brenda
Living Well, Feeling Safe held a community event in Stourbridge back in 2012. Brenda didn’t feel she needed the service in 2012, but she held onto the information from the event and five years later in 2017, she made a self-referral to the service.
An assessment was carried out and it became apparent that Brenda would benefit from a lot of the services available to maintain her independence and to ensure she stays safe and healthy. The assessor identified a need for a grab rail to be fitted by the back door as Brenda was struggling to get into the property without holding onto the door frame.
Brenda was also worried about falling; she had fallen in the garden whilst gardening and lay there for a while before being able to get up. A pendant alarm was provided to give her peace of mind and to allow her to carry on doing her hobby without worrying that nobody would find her if she fell. A key safe was also installed to allow emergency services to get into the property in an emergency. Brenda was thrilled and felt safer at home, while staying independent and well. She keeps the service’s number in case she needs more help in the future.
Case study - Bill
The occupational therapy team assessed Bill early in 2018 the assessment looked at Bill’s ability and wellbeing. Bill is an independent gentleman who has worked hard all his life and was struggling to come to terms with losing his independence and relying on others.
Bill told the assessor he had become increasingly depressed at his deteriorating mobility and the only things keeping him going was his dog and his good friend Pat. Due to his decreased mobility, Bill was struggling to safely get into his back garden therefore leaving him stuck inside his home.
The assessment identified the priorities in Bill‘s case were chair transfers, mobility, access to the garden and to improve Bill’s mental health. Equipment and minor adaptations were ordered to provide a handrail and step from Bill’s back door
Once the work was complete, Bill was able to get back into his back garden again. He could sit on a bench repeatedly throwing the ball for Frank the dog who happily brought the ball back to him each time. This activity improved Bill’s physical health and his emotional wellbeing and enabled him to spend time with his dog who gave him so much comfort.