Dorset's adult care and health services 'need reform'

Dorset's adult care and health services 'need reform'

Published by George Sharpe at 12:01am 19th January 2020.

More work needs to be done in Dorset adult care and health services on early intervention and preventative work.

The county’s health scrutiny committee say they favour the more integrated and interventionist approach taken by others, including neighbouring Somerset, rather than wait for problems to become almost too big to tackle.

The county’s adult social care service is expected to get an extra £11.7m next year although more than half of that will be eaten into by pay and inflationary rises and the £5.5million overspend in the current financial year.

The service is also worried about the effects of EU exit with 11 per cent of the local social care workforce made up of EU nationals currently living and working in the county.



Early prevention the way forward

Health scrutiny chair Cllr Jill Haynes said on Tuesday that she believed the only way to tackle the need for year on year bigger budgets was to look at prevention at a much earlier stage and to ensure that other services, such as housing, were prepared for the needs of the county in the years ahead.

Head of adult commissioning Tony Meadows said the new council now had the opportunity to change the way it thought and acted:

“We need to look at what we can do differently, rather than go down the same route,” he said.

And he told councillors that it would mean a ‘whole system’ approach in everything the council did, using the better information it now had, to assess likely needs before they arose and to plan for that.

“We will need to work with our communities in a completely different way,” he said.

Weymouth Green councillor and local GP, Jon Orrell, told the committee that death rates had been declining in the country since 2015. He questioned whether there was a direct link with the austerity measures of recent years.

He said many studies had shown that the NHS had only a small effect on those figures and that decent housing, a balanced diet and good air quality were as, if not more, important to the general public health.

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter