Council addresses UK’s £4.3bn ‘perfect storm’ in social care with first contract for NPS Integrated Care
South Gloucestershire Council has signed a two year contract to use NPS Integrated Care, with an option to extend a further two years, making it the first organisation to sign up for the online portal which enables people to manage their own care needs.
Through the portal, up to 6,000 residents per year are expected to take greater control over their care by accessing elf-assessment, advice, support planning and community care networks. The portal will also help them find out if they are entitled to funded care through online financial assessment, while reducing costs for the council through efficiency savings.
Provided by Northgate Public Services, the portal provides a secure, online environment for the agencies involved in supporting a person’s care, including GPs, the voluntary sector and housing providers. In the long run, it will enable more people to stay in their own homes for longer and take greater control of their own care needs, while reducing costs for the council and helping meet the requirements of the Care Act.
The news comes as UK councils deal with a ‘perfect storm’ in social care, with an ageing population, strained social care budgets and a funding gap predicted to run to £4.3 billion1 by the end of the decade.
Alan Sharp, Service Manager – Performance & Information Services, South Gloucestershire Council said:
“Providing efficient, smart social care and services to the local community is one of the most difficult – and still growing – challenges facing the local community. We’re addressing that partly with NPS Integrated Care, which we expect could benefit up to 6,000 residents per year in managing their own care and support, putting them and their carers more in control and helping them to better meet their needs in their own communities.”
Ian Blackhurst, Executive Director of Northgate Public Services said:
“This is an important win for us and for South Gloucestershire Council. It means that more residents will be able to use local services, ultimately helping them stay in their own home and enjoy the life they want for longer.
“Across the UK, social care is under pressure, thanks to the ‘perfect storm’ of an ageing population, the ongoing need to assess the needs of large numbers of people in the community, and a funding gap for adult social care that is estimated to be £4.3 billion by the end of the decade. NPS Integrated Care helps address the compelling case for action with a smart online tool that learns about users’ needs from their questions, then helps point them in the direction of the right outcome.
“It is also designed to tackle one of the most important but neglected aspects of social care – preventing things from becoming a problem in the first place by providing access to information and advice at an early stage.”
The benefits of of NPS Integrated Care include:
· NPS Integrated Care is different from other solutions as it is fully integrated with the back-office database. It ensures information entered into the portal is available to practitioners using the social care case management solution tool, so they have a more complete picture of people in the local area, whether they are funded service users, self-funders, carers or those with lower-level needs. It provides a valuable source of intelligence to plan and manage future demand on the care system.
· While the Care Act is England-focused, NPS Integrated Care has been designed to also meet the requirements of key care legislation across Scotland and Wales.
· NPS Integrated Care also supports children and families. For example, adoptive families, looked after children, young carers and families of children with special educational needs, can use NPS Integrated Care to find information, assess, plan and manage the support they need. It can provide early help to children and families, helping them to avoid reaching crisis point.
· Help to manage the volume of assessments without significantly increasing staff
· Enables people to complete an assessment online, create a support plan, manage personal budgets and care accounts and purchase equipment and services.
· Delivers platform for collaborative working across multiple agencies including social care, health, children’s services, voluntary sector, housing, etc.
· Provides one tool that can facilitate ‘joined up’ prevention work within a community. For example to reduce instances of social isolation, a key cause of access to care and health services.
· Provides a fully integrated platform – all information about people including service users, self-funders, carers and people with other needs in the community is stored in one database. This provides access to greater intelligence than has been available before.
· Provides people with the tools they need to manage their own care and support – putting them fully in control and recognising that they are best placed to judge what they need.
· Reduced cost by delivering some services via the web.
1 Adult Social Care Funding: 2014 State of the Nation Report, Local Government Association, p.6.
About Northgate Public Services:
1. Northgate Public Services is a software and outsourcing business with extensive experience in the public sector. Its clients include government departments and agencies, local authorities, police and emergency services, hospitals, transport providers and utilities. It also works with housing providers in the UK and internationally. The company is headquartered in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire.www.northgatepublicservices.co.uk
2. Northgate Public Services employs more than 1,700 people in the UK across 10 offices (the largest of which is in Hartlepool) and more than 650 people internationally, including in our software development centre in Mumbai.