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Health Minister Visits Lancashire'S Future For Older People


News: Health Minister Visits Lancashire'S Future For Older People

Wednesday, 16th June 2004
(PR 1411)

Health Minister Stephen Ladyman visited Preston today to witness for himself the developments in modernising care for older people in Lancashire and the success of new partnership working across social services and health.

Dr. Ladyman visited Meadowfield House, a residential home for older people in Fulwood, where he met staff, residents and representatives from Lancashire County Council Social Services, Lancashire Care Association, UK Home Care Association and Age Concern.

Meadowfield House provides a range new specialist rehabilitation and residential care for over 40 older people, including services for those with higher levels of dependency needs and those with dementia.

Meadowfield House operates across five separate units. Two units provide specialist long-term and respite care for older people with dementia, and one unit is for residents who may be physically frail but need support to help them maintain their independence. The remaining two units have diversified into specialist rehabilitative and intermediate care, which operate in partnership with health and social services staff.

During his visit to Lancashire, Dr. Ladyman said:

"The Government's vision is to improve the range of health and social care services and choices available to older people. Meadowfield House follows that vision by providing a range of services, including intermediate care.

"Intermediate care services for older people provided at home or in designated care settings help to promote independence, prevent unnecessary hospital admission, promote effective rehabilitation services to enable early discharge from hospital and prevent premature or unnecessary admission to long-term residential care."

Intermediate care provides therapy and rehabilitation for older people who have been in hospital or referred by social services and need a period of rehabilitation. The service helps bridge the gap between leaving hospital and returning home in an effort to reduce hospital admissions and admission to residential care.

Rehabilitation programmes are designed to increase confidence for older people to tackle day-to-day tasks such as making their own meals, bathing or just generally getting around without help or with assistance. Staff helping older people achieve this is a mixed multi-agency team from Lancashire Social Services and health (Preston PCT) including care staff, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and social workers.

County Cllr Chris Cheetham, cabinet member for adult services and health, said:

"The range of intermediate care services being developed across Lancashire is a credit to partnership working between social services and health colleagues. The emphasis is about giving older people choice and the right level of support tailored to their needs so they can remain as independent as possible."

Recently Dr. Ladyman announced initial plans for creating a new vision of adult services.

He said:

"We need a new vision for social services for older people, one that puts the person needing support at its centre; one that promotes inclusion and diversity and supports people in their choices and aspirations rather than cares for them once all choice and hope is gone."

For further information please contact: Andrew Lynn on 01772 534372


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