Probe into surge of admissions into Calderdale care homes

Calderdale saw an increase in the number of admissions to care homes
Calderdale saw an increase in the number of admissions to care homes

A recent upwards surge in the number of Calderdale’s over 65s who have been admitted to care homes is being examined to see why they increased late last year.

Calderdale Council’s Strategy and Scrutiny Performance Board was considering a number of key performance indicators when it met at Halifax Town Hall, one being the number of over 65s which had been admitted to residential or nursing care homes.

And going forward measures, often in partnership with health organisations, are being explored to enable people to stay in their homes for longer.

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Councillors heard that from April 1, 2017, to March 31 this year 228 new placements of the borough’s people over 65 were made to homes.

“There has been a long term downward trend followed by the rate staying relatively stable for the last two years.

“We have now seen increases in the last two quarters, missing the target,” it said.

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An audit is currently taking place to understand the reasons more people needed care home places in October and November last year and what could be learned from this.

New placements have since returned to a more normal level, says the report, but it acknowledges that for good performance on this measure to return to and stay at previous levels creative thinking would be needed as well as an increase in the amount of joint commissioning of places with partner organisations who include Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust, Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group and housing providers.

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The report says: “An increased number of methods and availability of flexible shorter term care interventions in people homes when crisis and needs are identified will reduce the need for short term admissions to care homes and hospital which often lead on to permanent care home placements.

“When people’s longer term needs are increasing, additional extra care and housing options are needed to allow people to live where care and support is more accessible to them, reducing their risk of crisis prompting the need for an admission to a care home or hospital bed.”

Initiatives include using increasingly accessible technology.

In turn, digital access for residents social care information and advice needs to be improved, councillors heard.

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