What the budget means for adult care and health

9:58am - 25 February 2021

In a series of focused press releases we'll be looking at areas where North Somerset Council will be investing in services which will improve outcomes for local people following the budget being adopted at Full Council last Tuesday (23 February).

Cllr Mike Bell is North Somerset Council's deputy leader, whose portfolio includes adult care and health.

"Despite the pressures that coronavirus has brought there have been considerable achievements in health and adult care over the last year such as distributing 1.2m items of PPE to our health and care services when it was in short supply; and providing £10m of additional support. Our housing teams have helped over 130 people off the streets and into safe accommodation since the pandemic began. And directly related to the pandemic we supported the setting-up of two mobile testing units with minimal notice and developed the new community rapid testing service; and we’ve given advice and support to settings which have experienced coronavirus outbreaks to ensure all health protection measures are in place."

Cllr Bell added that the council is not complacent about the challenges ahead, but there are opportunities to be taken.

"We will be developing and improving our technology offer meaning residents can live more independently in their home and giving family and friends confidence through technology-enabled monitoring that loved ones are safe and well cared for. 

"We know that the pandemic has had a detrimental impact on mental health for many people and we are committed to working with our health partners to support mental health recovery. We are investing to bridge the gap for people who need additional mental health support to enable them to have the best chance of staying well and enjoying more stability in their lives. 

"Carers play a vital role in looking after loved ones with informal and unpaid carers working tirelessly throughout Covid with many being unable to focus on their own needs. We're increasing our carers funding so that more carers can access respite, receive a direct payment allowing them to take a break in a way that they choose to and also investing in technology which can ease the pressure of caring.

  Cllr Bell added that the council did recognise the enormity of challenges faced by care providers in responding to the Covid pandemic: "At very short notice they have developed new ways of working,  supporting residents in their own home and through the delivery of compassionate care, safeguarding our most vulnerable residents especially those in residential and nursing home settings. Our Proud to Care campaign celebrates and recognises the role of our care providers and their staff and we'll be working with health and social care partners to ensure that they are recognised for what they do and have access to appropriate training and apprenticeship opportunities."