Four years ago we launched Meeting the Challenge, which was our plan to save £114million. The good news is that we’re on track to make the savings we need by the end of this financial year.
But that’s not the end of the story, and we’re about to start work on our next financial challenge. But first, it’s important that you understand the journey we have been on.
In the 1940s and 50s, it was the norm for people to turn to their families, friends and communities when they needed support. Over the years, things gradually changed and today people now see the council as the first port of call and we have more customers than ever. Healthcare has improved so people with complex problems are living longer needing ongoing support. Couple that with a continued reduction in our funding and we start to see a growing gap between what people expect us to do and what we can actually afford – a gap of around £25million per year.
What we’re looking at is a fundamental change in our approach to supporting people. We need to go back to the days where communities were stronger and people looked out for each other in their own neighbourhoods so we can protect the most vulnerable.
We know there are already excellent community networks and groups running and we want to work with them, share their local knowledge and invest where we think something can be developed further to help individuals and families.
We’re planning a four-stage approach to providing support:
- Creating active individuals: intervention and support to help people make the right life choices, like being fit and healthy. Providing support for people to do more for themselves and their families in their own communities
- Creating active communities: communities offering support closer to home. Investing in community capacity and building on existing support to signpost people to what they need within their own communities
- Getting people back to independence: investing in providing intensive packages of support that focus on a quick recovery following an injury or trauma. We want to enable people to get back to normal as soon as possible to reduce the need for long term care
- There when we’re needed most: working with our partners to provide specialist, acute support for those who really need our help. We will target this care to people with complex needs and help them to make decisions about the long term care that is right for them
Throughout this website you will be able to find out more about our services and what we are planning for the future.