£60m bid to ease pressure on Bradford and district hospitals

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: £60m bid to ease pressure on Bradford and district hospitals £60m bid to ease pressure on Bradford and district hospitals

A £60 million fund aims to ease the pressure on the district’s hospitals by giving the elderly and infirm more care at home.

It is one strand of a new scheme to get medics and social care teams working better together.

Health bosses hope to cut avoidable hospital admissions by five to seven per cent across the district, saving the local NHS £1 million a year. They also want there to be seamless support for patients when they leave hospital, to reduce the numbers being re-admitted unnecessarily.

The improvements will be funded through the Government’s Better Care Fund to encourage NHS teams and local authority social care services to work in a more integrated way.

In the Bradford district it will be worth £23 million in 2014-15 and a further £37 million in 2015-16.

But the fund is not new money, as it involves the district’s health and social care organisations pooling a chunk of existing funds.

Councillor Amir Hussain, executive member for adult services at Labour-run Bradford Council, and a member of Bradford and Airedale Health and Wellbeing Board, described the fund as a “mixed blessing”. The Health and Wellbeing Board has now finalised a plan which sets out how the funding will be used in the district. The board is expected to sign off on the plan at a meeting today, before sending it to NHS England for approval.

It says the money will be used to: * Help people with dementia by bringing care to them where possible to keep them in a familiar environment * Cut the number of elderly people suffering falls * Make sure the various NHS and Council-run rehabilitation schemes operate as a single system * Encourage self-care so people with long-term conditions can manage their condition more independently * And predict the needs of people deemed most at risk of being admitted to hospital, so they can be given pre-emptive support before a crisis hits.

It will also see an investment in ‘telemedicine’ technology, which involves giving medical advice over computer systems rather than face-to-face.

By April. 2015, health bosses hope to have the technology in 81 care homes across the district.

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