A presentation to update the Board on the development of a strategy.
The Board was invited to hear of developments to produce a new strategy for community services. Diane Hedges, Deputy Chief Executive, Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG), introduced a presentation outlining its focus on maximising independence for Oxfordshire residents. She emphasised that this was the time to build on the whole system approach that had worked so well in dealing with the pandemic.
The strategy for older people previously adopted by the board had identified that people wanted independence. Research had shown that only about 20% of the factors that support people’s wellbeing were related to NHS activities. This strategy was aimed at tapping into the whole 100%.
Generally, people in Oxfordshire were having to stay too long in hospital, though this had improved greatly thanks to the partnership working under COVID. The benchmark figures showed that we were not where we needed to be, particularly in the area of reablement.
The Primary Care Networks were a way for GPs to work well together and they provided an opportunity to plan together across the county. The community hospitals and other assets could play a greater role in promoting independence. The focus will be on intensive community care, rehabilitation and recovery, and care towards the end of life.
Work still needed to be done on the governance structure for this piece of work and ensuring that the appropriate resources were made available. Diane Hedges asked members the Board to endorse the approach outlined.
Stephen Chandler, Corporate Director for Adult and Housing Services, described this as the most exciting opportunity to maximise all the resources available in Oxfordshire He was fully supportive of this piece of work.
Prof Jonathan Montgomery, Chair, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, added that people do not just want to get ‘patched up’. They want to be active – go swimming, use libraries, go shopping. The health and care systems needed to be able to help them achieve this. It required a holistic approach including psychological and mental health support. He asked if data sharing had been considered at this stage as that would be an important element. He supported the direction of travel.
Councillor Lawrie Stratford emphasised the importance of outcomes and giving people a sense of being in control of their lives which was an essential part of wellbeing.
Councillor Andrew McHugh referred to research that showed the detrimental effects of long hospital stays on loss of muscle mass. He noted the red and amber flags on reablement measures 3.13 and 3.14 on Agenda Page 121 and asked if this strategy would help address those weaknesses.
Stephen Chandler responded that there was already work going on in this area. A year ago, 120 people were waiting for discharge from hospital and now that had been reduced to 20. Reablement support was being re-procured but this strategy would look beyond the providers and ensure that the whole system was supporting people to be as independent as possible.
Ansaf Azhar, Director for Public Health, added that the conversation was not just about service users but about the whole population and included issues such as leisure and growth. The aim was to reduce the need for health and care services but also to ensure that the right services were there for people when they needed them.
Sylvia Buckingham, Chair of Healthwatch Oxfordshire, noted that one of the biggest issues for elderly and disabled people was public transport. She gave the example that people in Botley needed to get to Kennington for their vaccination and many had no way of getting there and were reliant on volunteers to transport them.
The Chairman concluded by stressing the need for all of the organisations across the county to work together on the strategy. The mandate to work together as an Oxfordshire wide system on Ageing Well: increasing independence and health and wellbeing outcomes for our population, working with our population to make best use of our people, our systems and our assets was supported.