A cash injection of £750,000 has been invested in staff to help a council-run service supporting discharged hospital patients to cope with increased demand, it emerged today.
The funds have paid for a team of eight therapists and 30 carers to benefit Walsall Council’s reablement service.
The demand for the service has doubled over the past two years, prompting bosses to redesign the intermediate care service.
It is hoped the redesigned service will speed up discharge from hospital, prevent re-admissions, prevent admission to long stay or costly placements and improve the independence and wellbeing of people.
The authority has run its reablement service since 2010, after changing from a traditional domiciliary care or home care service.
It is designed to take people safely out of hospital with support and rehabilitation in order to make them as independent as possible in the long run.
With the help of occupational therapists, reablement workers encourage people to become independent through a support plan.
A report, due to be put before the social care and inclusion scrutiny panel tomorrow, said prior to this, people became reliant on domiciliary care staff which led to some people being pulled further into the care system.
Around 45 jobs were axed when the new reablement service came in and staff levels were eventually reduced to 67, who provided a service to 125 people at any one time.
But the report said demand had doubled over the past two years, prompting a new operating model to be drawn up by social care bosses.
The report states: “The new operating model places reablement at the heart of hospital discharge and has looked at how social workers and therapists are used differently, or at different points in the model to re-enforce the rehabilitation of individuals.
“Social care managers have been working with key managers from Walsall Manor to ensure the smooth flow out of the hospital supported by a reduction in unnecessary processes and administration.”
The new model expects there to be a period of reablement or intermediate care before a formal assessment is done. The former rehabilitation centre in Walsall will now be sold off after approval was given by cabinet chiefs.