The health and wellbeing of all residents is a key priority for Labour in Cheshire West and Chester.
The pandemic, cuts to public services and seismic economic changes at the hands of the Tory government has put unprecedented pressures on families and local services. This means existing health inequalities have been amplified, and this was evidenced by people living in poverty being disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 for example.
Action needs to be taken to reduce health inequalities for the future. We also have a growing mental health crisis, with more people presenting with issues and less funding available for resources to offer support.
The Conservative Government’s failure to tackle the crisis in Adult Social Care means local councils are struggling to meet demand within their existing budgets. Now almost 60p in every £1 of council tax is spent on protecting vulnerable children and adults, leaving just 40p for other councils services.
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. It’s important for everyone to remember that it is the political choices of 12 years of Conservative governments that have created this situation.
What is Labour doing locally?
- Delivering 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.
- Delivering our joint plan with the NHS and other partners to address health inequalities in our Borough.
- Improving our marketing and communications for key messages so that all local residents can play their part in improving public health.
- Completing our leisure review in every locality to deliver tailored solutions to improving physical activity.
- Working with communities on our plans to improve active travel.
- Continuing the Age Friendly Communities programme.
- Improving our help for carers to provide more tailored help and support.
- Redesigning 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.
- Supporting people who use adult social care services to remain in control of their lives and avoid unnecessary admissions to hospital or long-term care.
- Implementing 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.
- Bringing forward proposals for new models of housing to support adults to maintain their independence.
- Working with local carers to implement the All Age Carers Strategy, which we co-produced with them.
- Working 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.
- Working 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.
- Building support in care homes to help residents maintain their independence and reduce the need for hospital-based care.
- Building 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.
- Exploring 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.
- Using 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 when they need it, we hope nobody will have to sleep rough in our borough.
- Working 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.
- Continuing to work with our NHS partners to protect local communities against further outbreaks of Covid-19 through ongoing vaccination programmes.