OXFORDSHIRE’S elderly population will receive extra help and support in a bid to tackle the county’s bed-blocking crisis.
Age UK Oxfordshire has been given £225,000 by the Government and county NHS to run a new project called Circles of Support.
The money will be spent on nine new job roles and to find volunteers to help the elderly find out what services are available to them.
The county has a high rate of bed blocking, where a patient is well enough to leave hospital but cannot because community support is not available.
Oxfordshire was ranked the worst in England for this in 2013/14 but NHS bosses have said the problem is easing.
Age UK Oxfordshire chief executive Paul Cann said: “We are thrilled to have been selected amidst tough competition for a substantial grant from central Government.
“It is of huge concern that we allow our older people to decline physically and mentally, and to get stuck in the care system without all the help they need to live life their way. We want to create ‘circles of support’ in the community that will give them confidence, understanding and motivation to live independently.”
The project was one of just eight out of 160 applications to win a grant from the Government’s reducing winter pressures fund.
Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, which makes county NHS funding decisions, has put in £45,000.
Its assistant director for older people Fenella Trevillion said: “We are delighted that Age UK has been successful in its bid for the Circles of Support project.
“It will support more people at home in new and different ways using the many and able volunteers in Oxfordshire.
“The project will additionally help older people in hospital navigate through the information available and get the right support quickly so they can get home as soon as possible.”
Minister for civil society Brooks Newmark said: “I am pleased to announce the winners of these exciting new funds.
“Taken together, we believe that these projects will showcase the potential of social action to reduce hospital pressures and improve patient experience, and will be sustained into the long-term by local commissioners.”
A snapshot survey in June found 119 county hospital patients were well enough to go home. Of these, 41 were waiting for support at home.
The grant comes after the Oxford Mail reported last month that NHS England cash to ease pressure on county health and social services this winter is being slashed from £10.2m to about £4m.
- Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
11:20am Monday 28th July 2014
What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.
Our top stories
9:00am Thursday 29th January 2015
THERE are almost 300 illegal dwellings currently across the city, with officials warning the number could rise.
12:06pm Thursday 29th January 2015
There have been reports of snow in Chipping Norton and Carterton as the county was issued a warning for wintry weather.
12:30pm Thursday 29th January 2015
Results tables released by the Department for Education
9:33am Thursday 29th January 2015
A SHEEP was killed in an incident which closed the A40 near Wolvercote for almost half an hour last night.
9:00am Thursday 29th January 2015
ALFIE Potter says he will always have great memories from his time at Oxford United.
8:10am Thursday 29th January 2015
THE first results from the trial of an Ebola vaccine have shown it is well tolerated and provokes an immune response.