Agenda item

Setting the Scene- Prevention

Erik Scollay, Director of Adult Social Care and Health Integration, Suzanne Hodge; Head of Prevention and Partnerships and Chris Thompson, Prevention and Support Services Lead Officer will be in attendance to present on the range of Prevention services.


After the meeting, the Panel will compile some draft terms of reference for the topic and bring these back to the December meeting.


The Chair welcomed Suzanne Hodge, Head of Prevention and Partnerships and Chris Thompson, Prevention and Support Services Lead Officer to the meeting.


This was the first meeting of the new topic in relation to the Adult Social Care and Services Scrutiny Panel’s investigation into prevention, as a way of keeping older people in their own home for longer.


The Head of Prevention and Partnerships outlined that there are primary, secondary and tertiary elements of prevention. Public health is generally primary prevention, with Adult Social Care providing the secondary and tertiary preventions.

There is a huge spread of activity and therefore the officers thought it would be useful to talk through the Middlesbrough Independent Living services (MILS).

The Panel learnt that Within Middlesbrough Council Adult Social Care, there are creating an interlinked care and support system that spans the public, private and third sectors, a system that is geared towards prevention, wellbeing, choice and control. This is being led by a range of preventative services that have been embed at a local level.


The aim and ambition is as follows:


·        To ensure that every person finds Adult Social Care fair and accessible. That people have choice, control and support to live independent lives,

·        All Adult social care staff will take a preventative approach to support, ensuring earlier intervention and reducing demand for statutory health and social care interventions,

·        This is being delivered through an improved, integrated and better coordinated offer; that will see, a re-focus on prevention from initial contact at the Access front door, to preventative options being prioritised by all Adult social care staff.

In terms of realising the Council’s ambition, the Panel were advised that there that been a reallocation of the Council’s Preventative services, which were now all located at Cavendish House, Marton Road, Middlesbrough.

The model of delivery for the service was as follows:

·        Person centred/ Holistic approach

·        Prioritise and act upon feedback from service users

·        Responsive to service need through bespoke service creation.

The MILS has been recognised as delivering effectively and successfully as there is a central point of referral. The service has also received national recognition and success.

In terms of the most recent nominations and award successes, the Prevention and Support Services Lead Officer provided the Panel with the following information:



The Staying put agency has been shortlisted for the following three Healthy Housing Awards for 2023, winners will be announced on the 5th December 2023.


Middlesbrough Staying Put Agency

·        DFG Adaptation Service of the of the Year 2023 - Foundations National Healthy House Awards

·        Achievement of the Year 2023 - Foundations National Healthy House Awards (Rekindle Digital Inclusion Service shortlisted)

·        Technical Officer of the Year 2023 - Foundations National Healthy House Awards (Simon Waller)


The staying put agency were also on the LGC finalist earlier in the year.

Middlesbrough Staying Put Agency
Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards 2023 – Health and Social Care – Finalist


·        Middlesbrough Staying Put Agency
Home Improvement Agency of the Year 2022 – Foundations National Healthy House Awards – Winner

·        Middlesbrough Staying Put Agency
Handyperson Team of the Year 2022 - Foundations National Healthy House Awards – Winner

·        Middlesbrough Staying Put Agency - Rekindle Team
Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards 2022 – Digital Impact – Finalist


The officer outlined that the Council have a wide range of services and projects that have been developed to deliver our prevention programme. Our mantra is that we aim to help Middlesbrough Residents to Stay Safe, Stay Warm, Stay Well and to Stay Connected (to both their home and to the community)

The services provided by the Middlesbrough Independent Living Service were as follows:

The officer stated that the teams were in the privileged position, in that they enter many homes and meet with thousands of individuals every year. Through improving staff awareness around health and wellbeing issues, our teams are taking an approach in which we ‘make every contact count’ (EXAMPLE – Handy person operative)


The ‘make every contact count’ method has helped further embed our holistic approach to prevention, increasing cross referrals within Adult Social Care and in onward referrals to Health and Third Sectors partners.

The panel were provided with an example of a service which has improved a number of people’s lives, which is the Rekindle Digital Inclusion Service.


Rekindle – The service takes a unique and creative approach to reduce loneliness and social isolation by addressing digital inequality and through increasing community participation.

The service provides innovative co-produced solutions that empower Middlesbrough residents, to get online and confidently use digital tools to enhance their lives and the communities in which they live.

Middlesbrough’s high levels of multiple deprivation has added to regional digital disparity, the panel heard that the North East has the highest proportion of internet non-users in England (12.1%) and the highest proportion of people with zero basic digital skills (12%) making the challenge ahead all the greater.

The service provides upskilling/ device support and help with connectively solutions (including Sim Cards) and has a number of groups, including for example:

·        The Rekindle Co-production Group- which has supported with the develop of Ancestry groups and an Animation project / alongside a Radio Podcast.
They have also helped develop Digital QR Walks at St Hilda’s and Stuarts Park, the unique walks present a creative offer that brings Digital Technology/ Community Involvement and Local History together.

The St Hilda’s Walk is also being supported by Colleagues in regeneration.

The Rekindle service was a nominated finalist at the LGC annual wards in 2022 for ‘Digital Impact’. The service has also been shortlisted at this year’s 2023 Healthy Housing Awards under the ‘Outstanding Achievement’ Award, winners will be announced on December 5th.


The Officer also provided further information into 3 other services which have been essential to residents of the town:


-        Connect Telecare- The Telecare provision provides peace of mind to some of the most vulnerable individuals in our town and provides a way of manging the risks of a person living at home.  Through technology and equipment solutions, the service aims to lengthen the time in which an individual can continue to live independently and safely within their own home, but with the knowledge there is equipment in place if help is needed.


Telecare equipment includes a range of sensors, detectors and monitors and alarms tailored to individual needs.  These include, for example, motion sensors that will detect if an individual has fallen, sensors to detect environmental dangers like fire or carbon monoxide, sensors which can detect when a door has been left open and bogus caller alarms.


The Telecare sensors will raise an alarm at the local contact centre if there is an emergency. The Panel were pleased to hear that in 2022, Telecare responded to 392 falls which prevented pressure on emergency services.


The service is constantly adapting, and they will be looking into new technology solutions including A.I technology over the next year.


-                  Hoarding Intervention Service- Hoarding is a condition which is often misunderstood and has only recently being recognised as a as a specific mental health condition by the World Health Organisation (WHO)


If left unchecked hoarding can escalate to a level that can have a significant impact both to the individual, family members and the surrounding community. Risks associated with the condition may include poor physical and mental health, self-neglect and possible safeguarding issues. Along with an increased risk of fire, falling or being crushed by objects within the property.

The service is commissioned to Age UK Teesside and works in partnership with the Council’s Staying Put Agency team. They offer a therapeutic Approach to Hoarding and work with the individual across the long term to help with the Disorder. The approach to delivery is person-centred and support is based on the needs of the individual meaning timescales to support can greatly vary, support may take weeks/months or even years, however the service prioritise safety and ensures the welfare of the individual is paramount.


-                  Hospital to Home Service - The Panel leant that this scheme was targeted at reductions in delayed transfers of care and admissions to residential care, but also to reduce non elective admissions as the services aim is to provide preventative support such as adaptations and assistive technology solutions which contribute to the reduction of falls/accidents around the home.


The Hospital Discharge Service model can support all patients who were discharged from hospital on Pathway 0 or 1 which would mean we could potentially support 95% of the Middlesbrough patients discharged from James Cook Hospital and other satellite hospitals in the North East.


Connect Telecare is provided for a 6 week trail as part of the Hospital to Home Service.


Members of the Panel were complimentary of the services provided and acknowledged that Adult Social Care act as a support network to assist independent living.


To assist with the Panel agreeing their terms of reference, it was suggested that an overview of the Preventative agenda set out by Public Health South Tees. This would be explored and Mark Adams, Joint Director of Public Health would be invited to a future meeting of the Panel.


The Chair thanked the officers for their contributions to the meeting.


-                  That the information be noted

-                  That Mark Adams, Joint Director of Public Health be invited to a future meeting to provide an overview of the Preventative agenda.


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