The health and wellbeing of all residents is a key priority for Labour in Cheshire West and Chester.
The pandemic has put unprecedented pressures on families and services, so existing health inequalities have been amplified. People living in poverty were disproportionately impacted by the virus.
Action needs to be taken to reduce health inequalities for the future, additionally more people have been presenting with mental health issues, and in some cases those with existing mental health conditions have needed more support during the pandemic.
The Conservative Government’s failure to tackle the crisis in Adult Social Care means local councils are struggling to meet demand with their existing budgets. With poverty and homelessness also increasing due to worsening economic conditions, council budgets will continue to be put under extreme pressure as services try to provide support for more and more people, with less and less funding.
What will Labour do?
As leaders of Cheshire West and Chester Council and in partnership with Labour MPs in our area, Labour will:
- Deliver our plan for Care Communities which bring together individuals and organisations who can make a difference to the health and wellbeing of residents in neighbourhoods across west Cheshire.
- Deliver our joint plan with the NHS and other partners to address health inequalities in our Borough.
- Improve our marketing and communications for key messages so that all local residents can play their part in improving public health.
- Complete our leisure review in every locality to deliver tailored solutions to improving physical activity.
- Work with communities on our plans to improve active travel.
- Continue the Age Friendly Communities programme.
- Improve our help for carers to provide more tailored help and support.
- Redesign models of adult social care so that support is built around peoples’ strengths rather than their challenges, this includes individuals with physical disabilities, older adults, individuals with poor mental health, local people with learning disabilities and young adults who have been supported by children’s services. Our aim is to focus on what people can do for themselves and find creative and meaningful ways to support them and their families rather than simply commissioning support in the way it has been done in the past.
- Support people who use adult social care services to remain in control of their lives and avoid unnecessary admissions to hospital or long-term care.
- Implement a different approach to assessing support needs by providing help through personal assistants, with less reliance on supporting people through traditional building-based services, by commissioning individual packages of care within or close to west Cheshire, by utilising technology to assist people to stay in their homes, and by enhancing information, advice and guidance.
- Bring forward proposals for new models of housing to support adults to maintain their independence.
- Work with local carers to implement the All Age Carers Strategy, which we co-produced with them.
- Work with providers of social care to ensure they pay fair wages, have fair terms and conditions for their workers, and remain viable in an uncertain economic landscape.
- Work with the NHS to develop new models of integrated care which help to avoid hospital admission and provides vulnerable people with the support they require when they need it.
- Build support in care homes to help residents maintain their independence and reduce the need for hospital-based care.
- Build on the joint arrangements for discharging residents from hospital established during the pandemic by providing more step-down care and more capacity for care at home.
- Explore joint use of buildings with NHS and wider partners and work to improve the integration of data and intelligence between the local authority and NHS so that we can better target our resources and understand the difference we are making.
- Use our new Homelessness and Rough Sleepers Strategy, to pilot a multi-agency, person centred approach to working with our borough’s most vulnerable individuals, many of whom have complex needs relating to trauma, drug and alcohol abuse, and mental health – by accelerating our housing first programmes and providing accommodation for people throughout the pandemic, we hope nobody will have to return to the street.
- Work in partnership with care providers, police, health, advocates, and other partners to raise awareness of adult safeguarding and to tackle abuse, harm and exploitation where it occurs.
- Continue to work with our NHS partners to protect local communities against further outbreaks through Test, Track, Trace and Isolate, and ongoing vaccination programmes.