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The BIG Breakfast Show

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19.07.23 – Supported Living in Staffordshire, Falls Response Team Award

Written by on 20 July 2023

The way Staffordshire County Council commissions care services that support people with a range of disabilities and health conditions to live independently in the community, will be changed to ensure they get the best possible quality of care.

Supported living is where adults with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, autism, and mental health conditions live in their own accommodation with care and support provided to enable daily living and maintain independence.

Currently, there are 121 supported living schemes in Staffordshire, with 474 residents supported by Staffordshire County Council.

Under new commissioning plans put before the County Council’s Cabinet, services will be recommissioned with a view to strengthen quality and offer more choice.

This comes after people in supported living arrangements across the county were spoken to about their needs and wishes, as well as care providers and other stakeholders.

The new approach will also ensure that care and support providers have more opportunities to be innovative, work together and explore different technologies to ensure they can meet all the needs of Staffordshire residents.

County Councillor Julia Jessel, Cabinet Member for Health and Care said: “Supported Living services provide people with disabilities and mental health conditions the support they need to be as independent as they wish.

“These proposed new arrangements will help the 474 people we support with physical and learning disabilities, autism and mental health conditions get the care they need, but also give them the opportunities to live as independently as they wish. It will also mean that services are fit for the future, with more capacity to help those with complex needs, and will be able to embrace new technologies to improve the lives of those in supported living arrangements and help them to thrive.”

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Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have been celebrated for their achievements in responding to falls with a dedicated national award.

Back in December last year, the service started a joint initiative with the NHS, West Midlands Ambulance Service and the Stoke-on-Trent Integrated Care Board to respond more effectively to reports of falls across the county.

Since then, the dedicated falls response team have helped more than 450 vulnerable residents who had fallen and were unable to get back to their feet.

The initiative was designed to reduce the demand on the ambulance service and local hospitals by assigning fire service personnel to attend incidents where people had fallen and needed help.

As part of the response, the team also carry out a safe and well visit with the person affected and make sure they have access to the necessary support.

At a special ceremony held in Manchester on 3 July, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service received the Organisational Award at this year’s ALARM Risk Awards for the hard work, long hours, agile thinking and collaborative working with partners which contributed to the success of the scheme.

Following the success of the scheme, extra funding was secured until the end of March 2024 – meaning that the service can continue to help vulnerable members of the community as effectively as possible and continue to ease the demand on paramedics in Staffordshire.

Chief Fire Officer Rob Barber said: “It is great to see that the hard work and dedication of our team has been recognised at such a prestigious event.

“Although not traditionally a core fire service function, we have helped provide a vital lifesaving service in the community. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from communities and the families of residents we have helped.”

To find out more about how to keep safe in the home, visit: Safe and Well (staffordshirefire.gov.uk).