Edinburgh City Council is launching a project to radically transform the way health and social care services are delivered in the capital, with a focus on supporting people to live well at home for as long as possible.
Under its new strategic plan, the council will seek to make use of existing and new TEC [Technology Enabled Care] solutions, such as telecare, to keep people living at home independently for longer as the pressure on social care increases.
In particular, it will seek to maximise the opportunities offered by TEC solutions to provide overnight support.
The Edinburgh Integration Joint Board (EIJB), which oversees the delivery of services that support the well-being of adults in the capital, said it will also move the balance of care from acute hospital services to the community and home under the principle of ‘Home First’ by further integrating council and NHS services.
“We seek to listen and hear, reduce bureaucracy, reduce waiting lists and assist people to remain at home or in a homely setting for as long as they can,” the board said.
The council will be holding workshops with key stakeholders to consider the best approach to new technologies, solutions and equipment models.
Ricky Henderson, vice chair of the EIJB, said: “Edinburgh’s population is expected to increase faster than any other city in Scotland and with that comes a number of very real challenges.
“The number of residents who are aged 85+ is expected to more than double over the next 20 years. We need to accept that the status quo is unsustainable in the long term and our care systems need to evolve.
“Our Strategic Plan identifies new ways of delivering care so that we can better meet the current and future needs of Edinburgh citizens and, crucially, work to improve the population’s overall wellbeing.”
EIJB said there were sustained improvements throughout the year in the number of people waiting for a package of care.
From the end of April 2018 to the end of March 2019 the number of people in their own home waiting for a package of care fell by almost half (48%) from 851 people to 440 and the number of people in hospital waiting for a package of care fell by almost three quarters (73%) from 149 to 40.