Radical shake-up in night time care will save £343k a year

Councillor David Parker.Councillor David Parker.
Councillor David Parker.
Reduction in teams from five to two.

The changes have been made following extensive trials carried out in Tweeddale in September 2022 and in Berwickshire during August 2023.

Public consultation and engagement was also undertaken involving service users, family carers, staff, the wider Borders community and other key stakeholders.

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The Night Support Service, currently operating from 10pm to 7.30am, provides planned care and support through the night that may include safety checks, assistance to bed and to the toilet.

The aim is to replace that service, where appropriate, with the introduction of alarms, bed sensors and door activation monitors and with a change in working shift patterns.

As the second pathfinder established that overnight face-to-face support was still required for a small number of service users due to their level of complex care needs, which included palliative care, it was concluded that the Night Support Service would continue but could be delivered effectively by two teams, instead of the existing five.

These teams would continue to provide planned, critical overnight support to individuals with complex health needs whilst also providing a rapid response service to any Technology Enabled Care activations.

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Dawn (6am-noon) and twilight (6pm-midnight) shifts are to be introduced along with an updated eligibility criteria for anyone looking to access the service.

At a recent meeting the Scottish Borders Integration Joint Board members approved the proposals to reprovision the overnight care service provided by the Health and Social Care Partnership’s Adult Social Care service.

The intention is that service users with complex health needs would receive a service that meets their needs in a more “person-centred” way.

This, along with a transition to a rapid response approach, would allow the service to be “more responsive” to those who are requiring unplanned support overnight.

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A health board spokesperson said: “Not only do these measures provide a greater sense of choice and control for service users, they also enable improved safety by providing constant monitoring and an immediate response if urgent support is required, rather than a time-specific face-to-face visit.”

Councillor David Parker, SBC executive member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “The proposals that have been agreed for reprovisioning our Night Support Service are the result of an extremely robust and extensive review which has involved service users, family carers and staff at every step of the process.

“I have every confidence that anyone who is assessed as being eligible for overnight care will continue to receive the high standard of service they would expect that will also enable them to remain safely in their own homes, with support available should that be required.”

A total recurring saving will be generated amounting to £343,692 as a result of the changes.