Prevention programme - Warmer homes bid a success while partnership working is continuing to make a difference

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Successful warmer homes bid

We’re delighted to have been successful in securing a £3.8m bid from the Affordable Warmth scheme. This money will help alleviate fuel poverty in 1,000 homes and includes match funding from energy supplier EON. The funding will allow for new boilers, home insulation and home adaptations to enable people to live well and warm at home. EON and local charity Beat the Cold will provide the improvements and work closely with NHS Community Hubs and local partners to identify households eligible for support.

Seasonal flu campaign

An important part of work for the Prevention Programme over winter is the seasonal flu campaign, aiming to vaccinate as many people local people as possible, including health and care staff, to help prevent people becoming ill with flu.

This year’s campaign has been developed in partnership with Public Health England, the six Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and, for the first time Sanofi Pasteur from the pharmaceutical industry. Our flu campaign will continue into January, running alongside the national campaign.

Early figures in the south of the county indicate there has been an increase in requests for flu vaccinations from front line staff and staff within schools compared to last year, and the six local CCGs are in line with other CCGs in the Midlands and East of England.

Supportive Communities Programme

With an ageing population and significant budgetary pressure on all services, we know we need to do things differently and the Supportive Communities Programme is intended to identify community options for people where statutory service options do not currently exist. The focus is on people who are on the cusp of needing our services and building community responses to reduce longer term demand on our services. Ultimately, we want to help people to stay healthy and independent.

At its heart Supportive Communities will seek to identify and improve signposting and access to existing community services in the voluntary, faith and third sectors. This will partly be achieved by ensuring we have an effective digital offer and that we work with local partners to generate local and community solutions to helping people to stay independent in their own homes.

Air quality project

Following the publication of the Government’s £3bn Clean Air Strategy we developed a joint Air Quality Grant bid with the district and borough councils in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. We were successful in being awarded £208,000 earlier this year and as a result we initiated our Air Quality Project in July 2018. We expect delivery to run through to 2020 focused on the following areas:

  • Business engagement – developing a network of large and small companies identified around the Air Quality Management Areas where we’ve been able to offer travel plan support and active/sustainable travel promotion. We’re planning to hold town centre and school-based events soon
  • Electronic vehicle (EV) scoping – focussing on understanding how Staffordshire County Council can help to develop the EV infrastructure within Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, and inform whether the council should be leading this development or whether the private sector should be allowed to develop this network alone
  • School engagement – focussing on air quality monitoring alongside engaging pupils through the school curriculum. We are also planning to link air quality to the nationally accredited Modeshift STARS scheme and are looking at active travel to school with events planned for 2019
  • Communications/behaviour change/raising awareness – this will involve offering support over a two-year period, working with Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

National Diabetic Prevention Programme

This programme is delivering the ‘Healthier You’ behaviour change course across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent to people at risk of developing type two diabetes. All GP practices have been invited to join the programme and referral numbers are continuing to increase each month. The invitation and referral process is due to change this month which will allow GP practices and the private provider to respond to the anticipated increased interest following the Christmas period.

Suicide prevention

Suicide prevention skills training for GPs and other primary care staff was commissioned jointly by Public Health colleagues as part of the pan Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Suicide Prevention Action Plan. Suicide accounts for approximately 6,000 premature years of life lost (i.e. deaths before the age of 75) in Staffordshire and it causes more premature deaths than stroke or respiratory disease.

Delivered by an expert training organisation, the training aims to develop skills and confidence in responding to patients at risk of suicide. This is a really positive example of a county and city-wide approach, as well as excellent partnership working across local authorities, GP practices and CCGs to deliver training. The first two sessions have taken place in Stafford and Stoke this year which were both positively received. Feedback has included: “Excellent. Brilliant mix of information and doing. Nice description of issues, essential information to gather and act on” and “‘Really useful and reassuring course on primary care assessment and management of suicide risk/self-harm”.

The training will be made available in targeted areas across the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, where we know that we have specific issues, and those sessions will continue into 2019.

Falls prevention pathway and model

National research tells us that one in three people aged over 65, and half of those aged over 80 fall at least once a year, while data for Staffordshire tells us that falls and frailty amongst older people is a common cause of A&E attendance and subsequent admissions to hospital. This, in turn increases the likelihood of a person requiring ongoing support in the community.

In order to address this issue, a falls prevention pathway and resource model has been co-developed by the Public Health and Prevention team, alongside clinicians and professionals from across the county to help achieve better outcomes for local people and achieve significant savings.

The pathway focuses on levels of risk and complexity, rather than age and circumstance and the resource model helps us to identify how we can make best use of the skills and competencies amongst our workforce. Together, they will seek to avoid or reduce levels of risk by giving greater focus on preventative interventions at each stage, helping people to stay well and independent and minimise the risk of growing dependency. By supporting people to access assessments at home as well as programmes of effective exercise, the model suggest that we could reduce the number of people falling and being admitted to a hospital bed by 24%.