Welsh Government announces £5m of funding to increase community based care
The Welsh Government has announced £5m of funding to increse the number of allied health professionals and access to community-based care to help people remain active and independent.
Available from April 2023, the funding will help people stay independent and well at home as well as prevent hospital admissions.
It’s hoped the increase in community based support workers will also help people to be discharged from hospital quickly, with the right support and rehabilitation in place to recover at home.
Allied health professions is a group of 13 professions, which include physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, dietitians and psychologists.
Based in local community health teams, they provide preventative and early intervention services, alternatives to hospital admission and reduce the need for long-term social care.
The creation of ‘virtual wards’ will allow patients to receive the treatment they need at home safely and conveniently, rather than being in hospital, or expand the existing community resource teams which give GPs and paramedics alternatives to emergency departments.
More AHP’s can also help to treat people who have suffered a fall at home, if they do not need to go to hospital, and provide a programme of care and advice to reduce the likelihood of a further fall by rebuilding their confidence and strength.
They can also provide effective interventions to help people newly diagnosed with dementia to continue to live at home, support family carers and reduce the rate at which they may deteriorate.
Minister for Health and Social Services Eluned Morgan said: “The focus of health and social care in Wales is on strengthening community-based services. We want people to live at home, as independently as possible and for as long as possible.
“We know that many people who are older and living with frailty or many health conditions can quickly deteriorate if they are inactive in bed for too long and if they have been in hospital, when they leave, they may be less mobile and less independent than when they were admitted.
“This funding will help us to help people return home as quickly as possible, with access to the right community assessment and rehabilitation, so they can remain active for as long as possible, living with their families and doing the things they enjoy most in their daily lives.
Demand for AHP’s has risen since the pandemic and more people are presenting to services with more complex needs.
Chief Allied Health Professions Adviser, Ruth Crowder said: “AHPs excel in delivering treatments which are particularly valuable in supporting the complex, multi-dimensional needs of people who are frail or living with long term health conditions.
“Without community AHP services, people may be admitted to hospital when they could have been treated at home, are unable to be discharged from hospital when their acute treatment is complete or end up moving to residential or nursing care earlier than might otherwise be the case, adding to other pressure on our social care services.
“Improving access to allied health professionals will bring a wider workforce together in a reformed primary care.”
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