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Working with our partners

Supporting South Gloucestershire carers

Partnership working with the Carers Support Centre has focused on embedding the approach to carers launched in April 2013 “Do you look after someone? Getting help and connected” (carers’ assessment) and “Connecting carers” (an independent register).  The approach focused on encouraging more carers to identify themselves as early as possible and making it easier for carers to access support.  Extra funding has continued for carers assessment workers based at the Carers Support Centre. During the year 667 carers have been referred to Getting help and connected with 521 assessments completed.  This is a 22 percent increase in the number of carers assessed compared to the first year of the new approach.

There are now 3,875 carers registered with Connecting Carers, an increase of 29 percent on the previous year, a further indication of the success of the approach.

The current approach has been reviewed favourably against the requirements of the Care Act. The intention is to build on the firm foundations of Getting help and connected, with minor adjustments in early 2015/2016 to ensure clarity of compliance with the requirements of the Act.

At the request of a carer, a new process has been put into place to contact carers on the anniversary of their assessment, to remind them that they are entitled to a re-assessment at any point, and to update them on any new information or events relating to carers. A new review assessment has been introduced for carers following their first assessment. More sophisticated monitoring is now in place to collate data on both new assessments and re-assessments, and also to understand any changes in demand as a result of the new rights for carers in the Care Act 2014.

The Learning Difficulties Partnership Board

South Gloucestershire Learning Difficulties Partnership Board (LDPB) is a multi-agency/professional group who work to make sure that people with learning difficulties have the same rights, choices and opportunities as everyone expects and deserves.

The Board ensures that it works in partnership with people with learning difficulties, family carers and staff from the council and other agencies across South Gloucestershire to deliver the agenda of valuing people now.

In November 2014 the LDPB held an event called ‘Valuing you’ which was aimed at raising awareness of the LDPB and also showcase what’s on offer within South Gloucestershire for people with learning difficulties. This event saw 500 people attend who were made up of people with learning difficulties, their carers and stand holders. There was the opportunity for people to try one of the workshops, which ranged from drumming, arts, knitting, Boccia, and dancing.

The Board has again looked at its structure, terms of reference and action plan and decisions made were:

  • to work towards getting more service users representatives to the Board
  • to update the action plan to show the next 12 months priorities
  • update the who we are, what we do information folder
  • implement a LDPB newsletter to keep people and providers updated on the work of the Board
  • to keep the forward plan up to date

The 2014/15 Learning Difficulties Development Fund (LDDF) supported a number of projects and initiatives including facilitating a provider’s forum, the introduction of a community connectors role which will work towards enabling people with learning difficulties to access the community, improve social relationships and reduce isolation and learning difficulties awareness sessions with primary school children.

This year the LDPB has again been able to award £87,850 from the Learning Difficulties Development Fund to projects that will work to achieve the aims and priorities of the Board. For more information see here:

Work has started to get a better understanding of hate crime against people with learning difficulties, how it is reported and to gain a better understanding of the work needed to ensure that people with learning difficulties know how to report crimes.

Carers’ Advisory Partnership (CAP)

The Carers’ Advisory Partnership ensures that carers are involved in changes in South Gloucestershire adult social care and health services and that their views and perspectives are considered.

Some of the work that has taken place in the last twelve months:

  • Updated the terms of reference and ensured timescales for the Partnership worked well for carer representatives
  • Instigated a piece of work to consider the needs of bereaved carers
  • Considered the implications of the Care Act 2014 on carers, and completed a detailed piece of work to ensure the carers assessment was Care Act compliant
  • Received reports on a range of initiatives of relevance to carers and the people they care for, including regular updates from the Health and Wellbeing Board and Healthwatch.  Other presentations were made and comments invited on the Rehabilitation Board, plans for the development of Extra Care Housing, the extension of the Dementia Action Alliance across South Gloucestershire, and the model for working in clusters adopted by Sirona Health and Care
  • Monitored the work of the Carers Strategy Implementation Group, and contributed to the plan for the refresh of the strategy in 2015, including how best to engage with carers on the development of the strategy

Low vision group

The group has continued to focus on raising awareness of visual impairment and eye health in South Gloucestershire and work with other organisations and providers to ensure people are supported to access appropriate support and advice. Work over the last year has included:

  • Revising the registration pathways for a simpler and more effective process for people with sight loss
  • Holding a Low Vision Summit to build better partnerships between different agencies and organisations and gain a better understanding of roles within low vision services
  • Developing a process for maintaining the low vision register and keeping people informed with news and information
  • Developing a low vision bulletin to keep people in touch with news and information
  • Updating and developing the Low Vision Committee work plan
  • Working with colleagues who support the Deaf, Deafened and Hard of Hearing Group to develop a monthly digital campaign to promote awareness of the support and information that is available locally

Guide dog

Older People’s Programme Group (OPPG)

The OPPG provides a forum where the issues affecting older people can be addressed across partner organisations, with the input of older people.  OPPG is the group overseeing the delivery of the ageing well theme of the Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

Work over the last year has included:

  • Providing oversight of the work of the Precious Time Strategy, which aims to reduce social isolation and loneliness in South Gloucestershire
  • Progressing the celebrating age theme of the Discover Festival
  • Revising the terms of reference for the group
  • Ongoing strategy updates from each lead manager for the ageing well theme of the Health and Wellbeing Strategy
  • Progressing the building health partnerships meeting
  • Contributing to developing the Better Care Fund
  • Dementia review
  • Information sharing: Age UK – Integrated Care Project, Survive, Health Watch, flu programme, sensory awareness and autism

Deaf, Deafened and Hard of Hearing Group

Over the last 12 months the Deaf, Deafened and Hard of Hearing Group has been working to develop the group’s work plan and look at ways to raise awareness of the impact of hearing loss. Work has included:

  • Holding a coffee and cake information event that highlighted the range of equipment that can support people with a hearing loss
  • Developing an online calendar of information about sight and hearing loss
  • Supporting training and advice for care homes on maintaining hearing aids
  • Working with the Department of Work and Pension (DWP) and South Gloucestershire Deaf Association (SGDA) to agree a number of clear actions to support Deaf people when looking for employment support
  • Supporting the development of lip reading classes in South Gloucestershire
  • Working with the Care Forum to improve the information available for people with a hearing loss
  • Surveying the accessibility of hearing loops in the South Gloucestershire community and at One Stop Shops
  • Raising awareness of training courses / materials / support etc available and South Gloucestershire Council’s development of a pan disability training course

South Gloucestershire Dementia Planning Group

(Bristol and South Gloucestershire Dementia Partnership Board)

Realising efficiencies this Board was discontinued during the summer of 2014, with Bristol and South Gloucestershire separating their strategies to fit their local priorities. In relation to South Gloucestershire, the strategy work of the Board was subsumed into the South Gloucestershire Planning Group where work arising from the Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge 2020 is localised:

  • February 2015 saw the publication of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia for 2020 which will guide the work of the group in the coming years
  • There has been a 4.7 percent increase in the diagnosis rates within the community which now stands at 56.7 percent. (Target is for 67 percent by December 2015.)
  • A dementia awareness campaign in planned for Bristol and South Gloucestershire for summer 2015 which is planned to increase the diagnosis rates
  • The Dementia Action Alliance has been extended and now covers the whole of South Gloucestershire. This was launched by our Chief Executive Amanda Deeks at an event in January 2015 to coincide with the launch of the updated Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge and is supported by a community engagement worker from Southern Brooks Partnership
  • The quarterly living well with dementia roadshows have become an embedded way of engaging with people who are newly diagnosed with dementia and their families, taking place within their communities. This years’ roadshows will take place in Cadbury Heath, Patchway, Winterbourne and Thornbury
  • In May 2015, the group held a dementia roadshow event for the black and ethnic minority communities who are under-represented in memory clinics and diagnosis rates
  • The group plan to scope out similar information events targeted at those people with dementia but a little further into their illness, perhaps focusing work on the resilience plans for carers of people with dementia
  • The council’s website continues to be a source of information to support people with dementia and their carers
  • The number of memory cafes continues to grow with cafes now operational at Charfield, Emersons Green, Hanham, Patchway, Thornbury, Winterbourne and Yate
  • Every library in South Gloucestershire has a copy of every book recommended on the reading well on prescription for dementia initiative, which was launched in January 2015 to coincide with the Prime Minister’s Challenge
  • Worked to develop alternatives to hospital placements and to reduce admissions into care homes
  • Cambrian Green Day Centre held an open week to coincide with Dementia Awareness week
  • Public health are working to develop our understanding of the population of people with dementia and their future needs which will help commissioners plan for the future

Mental health

Work has focussed on improving the support and information available for people who are or have experienced mental ill health. The key achievements for the past year are:

  • Commissioning ‘Off the Record’ talking therapies (in Partnership with the CCG) for 11 – 15 year olds in Yate, Patchway and Kingswood
  • The completion of a draft adults Heath Needs Assessment (HNA) and  a draft a children’s HNA which will be ready by autumn 2015
  • Inviting local groups and organisations to apply for the Everybody’s Business Grants 2015/16. This year 25 organisations were awarded funding to take forward projects such as arts and drama, support groups and short breaks for children with additional needs
  • Establishing a mental health service users and carers forum.  The forum works to raise awareness of mental health and is co-chaired by a service user
  • Celebrating World Mental Health Day with stands, presentations and some keeping healthy activities at Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre
  • Piloting the new ‘Positive mental health’ training from May 2015
  • Introducing the ‘Heads up’ newsletter for people who have experience of mental health services and their families
  • Improved the information available on South Gloucestershire council’s web page and moving towards a mental health directory of support and restructuring all related website content
  • Developing the membership and work plan of the Mental Health Partnership
  • Commissioning HealthWatch to consult with people who are at risk of developing a need for mental health support including Gypsies, Travellers and people who experience domestic abuse
  • Holding a number of information stands and displays across South Gloucestershire as part of Mental Health Awareness Week
  • Successfully securing funding with the library service to run the ‘Re. mapping’ project which works to create and celebrate positive images of mental health and dementia through various art forms
  • Building on the success of the reading well books on prescription for adult mental health and dementia by providing books and support material aimed at young people aged 11-16 years who are experiencing mental health issues and also children and young people with autism and Asperger syndrome
  • Recruiting a community connector who will help identify opportunities in the community that service users can be helped to access
  • Exploring ways to develop the membership of mental health groups and forums to ensure each group has a wide representation of service users, carers, organisations and providers