Southampton has long had an integrated approach to delivering health and social care and to supporting care homes, home care and the wider social care market. We want to ensure that all our residents are supported to be healthy and independent.
We recognise that working with all our partners is integral to supporting our older and vulnerable residents. Health and social care partners have a shared vision that everyone in our city lives well and ages well. All our partners are signed up to working together to achieve this. We also partner with the wider Hampshire and Isle of Wight, so we can plan effectively with them for the whole region.
The Care Act 2014 is in place to ensure adult care and support is available to help people to achieve the outcomes that matter to them in their life. Southampton City Council, Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and wider NHS, carers, all care providers and voluntary organisations work together. We look at the needs of our residents and identify what support they will need now and in the future, so we are able to meet their needs.
Care in the city is commissioned and purchased in a variety of ways. Public sector bodies, such as the council and NHS, commission care for the city’s residents. Southampton residents and their families also pay directly for the care of their loved ones from care homes and care providers. We are committed to ensuring there is a sustainable care home market that is right for the residents of Southampton City and this is a key element of the Care Act. This is essential for supporting our residents to stay well, so we work hard to create an integrated provision that puts the community at the heart of its delivery.
Our work to deliver this has seen us develop an approach, which joins up care for people across Southampton. We have a Care Home Oversight group which consists of all our health and care partners working together including the homes themselves. This enables us to obtain feedback on issues from them and Healthwatch, so the services and support we provide is informed by the views of residents and families in our city. Our work emphasises a holistic ‘person centred’ care, prioritising early intervention, maintaining independence and working with the community and voluntary sector services.
For everyone who receives care in our city, we work to offer you greater control of the ways in which you are cared for, as well as improving the availability of services to ensure they can be accessed at a time and place that is convenient for you. We want to support people in their own home for as long as possible, however we recognise that this is not appropriate for everyone.
Our care providers
The variety of partners and providers who deliver the care to our community all hold individual responsibility for assuring the health and safety of all they serve. This market is complex and each provider determines how they deliver these requirements. The delivery of care is overseen and supported by ourselves - Southampton City Council, the NHS, CCG - as well as the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The city has a total of 60 care homes which are run by a range of different providers, these homes are made up of:
- Older people - Nursing Homes: 9 homes with a total of 604 beds.
- Older people - Care Homes: 24 homes with a total of 572 beds
- Learning Disabilities specialist homes: 18 homes with a total of 125 beds
- Mental Health/Substance misuse specialist homes: 9 homes in total with 91 beds
In addition, there are more than 40 other providers who give personal care in a range of environments. From people's homes, people residing in supported-living, people with a learning disability and extra care residences or supported housing, where care is dedicated to that site.
We recognise that we need to increase the level of care provision that can meet the more complex needs of some of our residents and we are working with our providers to achieve this.
Quality assurance of our providers and their delivery is essential to ensure they are providing the best possible care for our residents. Data available via nationally collated care trackers enables us to do this on a real-time basis. It provides us with insight into the workforce, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), demand challenges and availability of resources amongst other things. Our providers’ input into the tracker gives us the opportunity to focus our efforts where it is most needed.
Alongside this our Quality and Safeguarding in Provider Services Team work with the care providers in the city to ensure that high quality care is at the centre of what we all do.
This team also works in conjunction with the Enhanced Care Home Quality Team to offer rapid support where required and provide focused intervention and education where appropriate. This is a local, flexible and collaborative approach to quality assurance and safeguarding in Southampton.
Enhanced health in care homes
The Enhanced Health in Care Homes (EHCH) model was developed in 2018, so people living in care homes receive proactive, coordinated health and care. This is one element of a whole support package available to care homes. The model is designed so that we focus our support, care and services around the needs of individual care home residents, their families and care home staff.
With one in seven people aged 85 or over living permanently in a care home, the EHCH model aims to improve the quality of life, healthcare and planning. We want to ensure that high-quality care is provided in all care homes in our city.
The EHCH model means that care providers work in partnership with local GPs, community healthcare providers, hospitals, social care, individuals and their families, and wider public services to deliver care in care homes. Services are ‘wrapped around’ the individual and their family, who are connected to and supported by their local community. Regular reviews, advice on medication, planning ahead for any crisis that may occur as well as easy access to clinical advice helps residents stay well and means that people do not need to spend time in hospitals unnecessarily.
It builds on a lot of the work we have undertaken already and works to ensure that our older people have access to enhanced primary care and specialist services. The model ensures we put the needs of the person with care needs at the centre of any changes.
The recent crisis this country has faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, has brought forward many of the changes we were seeking to implement in health and social care.
Care homes for older people and home care are a vital part of the provision in our communities and will be so for years to come. Residents, staff and communities need to have confidence that the care provided in every care home is as clinically safe as it possibly can be in the context of Coronavirus.
Clinical and care professionals within the NHS and the council now have a key role with all care homes in the city. This helps to keep the residents and staff safe and provide more support to care providers. Indeed, to support the sector providers, whether the care homes or the domiciliary care providers, a regular Infection Prevention & Control Q&A session (which also incorporates a training and development element) to provide the current guidance from an expert professional team.
A multi-disciplinary team that is comprised of key professionals have regular discussions and these are sometimes daily, with care providers to understand the needs and issues and challenges to maintaining good quality of care in each care home. They particularly focus on implementation of infection prevention and control, and advice to support the provision of expert clinical care to residents who have Coronavirus.
We are working with our providers to carry out weekly testing for coronavirus across all homes in the city, in line with national guidance. We also support the homes to manage any cases of COVID-19 within their setting, where this is appropriate. To ensure the safety of residents and staff within our home settings, no home in our city will be expected to take a patient who has been discharged from hospital without a coronavirus test result within the last 48 hours.
We recognise that providers have faced increased financial challenges because of coronavirus and are supporting them in many ways including financially through this. We want to ensure that our providers can deliver the quality of care our residents need, overcome the challenges of this pandemic and that our care market continues to be resilient.