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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together

Trust supports Solihull plan to improve health and care services for over 65s

Published: 26/09/2014

Our Trust is supporting Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Solihull Council’s plan for the borough’s first Better Care Fund to improve local services for older people.

The Better Care Fund is a national initiative announced by the Government last year to deliver better outcomes and greater efficiencies through more joined up services for older and disabled people.  The £3.8 billion pooled budget for health and care services comes from existing NHS and local authority funds; the Government is not providing any additional funding.  Solihull’s portion of the Fund for 2015/16 is estimated at £15.114m.  This is made up of a £1.395m contribution from Solihull Council and £13.719m from the CCG.

The plan was developed by the CCG and Solihull Council together with the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust and has the support of our Trust, Primary Care providers, Solihull’s voluntary and community sector and Experts by Experience.  Government approval for the plan is expected by the end of October.

The schemes outlined in the Better Care Fund plan will be delivered through the Solihull - Together for Better Lives Programme, a partnership of local health and care organisations.  The Together for Better Lives Programme has three main aims: to work in partnership with people so they can direct their own care and support; to provide care where it’s best for people and to reduce inappropriate admissions to hospital or long term residential care. Early successes for the programme include the borough’s first Information and Advice Hub in Chelmsley Wood and the first stage of a Supported Integrated Discharge Service (SIDS) which will help to reduce the time patients have to spend in hospital.

Dr Anand Chitnis, Chair of Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group and a GP in Castle Bromwich, explains: “By 2021 almost a quarter of Solihull’s population will be aged 65 or over.  To meet the future needs of our older residents, we need to transform local health and care services now.  We can only achieve this by working together.  Our Better Care Fund plan supports what we are already doing in Solihull and provides the foundation for the Council and CCG to bring a substantial part of our budgets for older people together, jointly commission services and ensure better value for the money we spend.  Most of all, this is about delivering a better experience for people who use our services.”

Cllr Ken Meeson, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing and Chair of the Solihull Health and Wellbeing Board, continues: “Solihull’s plan is a great piece of partnership working and puts us in a strong position for the future.  I am confident that we have the right schemes in our Better Care Fund plan to make a real difference to people in Solihull.  We also have a great opportunity to involve people in the detail of these schemes, redesigning how we work together and shaping future health and care services in Solihull.”

Solihull’s Better Care Fund plan is available to download from the Solihull Council and Solihull CCG websites.  A series of events are planned for later this year which will set out the Together for Better Lives programme in more detail.