New South Tyneside Council service reduces home improvement waiting times for those in need
A new service being trialled in South Tyneside is helping more people to stay safe and well in their own home.
South Tyneside Council’s Living Better Lives Resources Centre in Jarrow is providing a range of equipment to help people maintain and retain their independence.
Previous systems saw those who needed support need to wait for an occupational therapist to visit, assess what could be done to help them with their daily living activities before waiting a number of weeks for support. The new service, named ‘See and Solve’ by the local authority, looks to support the community as soon as possible rather than leave the public waiting for services
The system sees a trained Council staff worker assess individual needs, taking basic equipment such as grab rails and bathing equipment, and installs any required equipment on the same day. Since the trial was introduced, waiting times have reduced dramatically.
One man who is delighted with the service is South Shields resident Kenneth Stephenson. The 74-year-old, was having difficulty getting down the three steps outside his front door following an operation on his ankle.Following a visit from an assessor a handrail was fitted on the same day.
Kenneth said: “The Council has been brilliant. The new handrail is absolutely perfect and it saves me having to hang on to the top of the fence. It means I can get out and about so much more easily. I’m very grateful to the Council that they were able to sort this so quickly for me.”
In line with the Council’s ambition to keep people healthy and well throughout their lives, the Adult Social Care Strategy puts prevention and intervention at its heart to help people live well and independently.
Councillor Anne Hetherington, Lead Member for Adults, Health and Independence, said: “We know that people are happier living independently in their own communities so I’m delighted that this new service is allowing us to help them achieve this.
“With increased demand for adult social care, it is fantastic that this project is succeeding in cutting waiting times and helping more people to live better lives.”