Oxfordshire Community Services
Improving Community Health and Care Services
Getting the best health and wellbeing outcomes for Oxfordshire and increasing independence for older people
Oxfordshire’s health organisations and councils are working together with voluntary and community sector groups to modernise our community services. We want to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for everyone in Oxfordshire and increase independence for older people.
Our current services have developed over time and do not always reflect what we now know about how health and care services are best delivered. We want to do more to prevent people getting ill or losing their independence and respond more rapidly when they do. To do this, we are moving many multi-agency services into local areas to work alongside GPs and introducing new services that can respond more quickly.
With modern advances in healthcare, it is possible to provide more care than ever before in people’s own homes. This is better for the individual and their families and frequently leads to improved health outcomes. Advances in digital technology can also help people remain independent at home and receive more services in their local area.
We have an ageing population. More people are enjoying longer lives but often living with more complex health conditions. We need to meet this increased demand for services. We plan to do this by improving how we work across organisational boundaries and by working with residents to grow strong and supportive communities able to help each other.
This might require us to change the way we currently provide some services. We have, therefore, developed twelve principles to guide any decisions we make. We are sharing these draft principles with our wider partners and Oxfordshire residents to find out what you think and seek your feedback.
Community services for older people include help accessing local activities and support to prevent isolation, equipment to help people live independently, out of hours GP
services, primary care visiting services, homecare, community nursing and therapy services, urgent community response services, centres for treating people with frailty, community tests and x-rays, short-stay and community hospital beds, and support workers who help people get their confidence and mobility back after an illness or fall.
We are looking at these services to ensure they are working together in the most effective way – although this does not mean that every service will need to change, if it is working well. We are also considering how these services link to other aligned services which are more specialised, such as stroke rehabilitation, or hospice and end of life care services.
To keep our work focused, we are not looking at services for mental health, learning disabilities or autism, hospital emergency care, A&E services (also known as ‘ED’), or the everyday work of your local GP practice (known as core ‘General Medical Services’). We will continue to develop these services through other projects.
Improvements to community services will be made through:
- more focus on prevention
- provision of more care closer to home and more active use of community hospitals
- more use of digital technology
- introduction of new services
- work across organisations to meet demand
We are committed to working collaboratively with our population. This is not, however, the start of the conversation. Over the last few years we have undertaken a range of surveys, focus groups and informal conversations with our communities. You can read more about what people have told us so far here.
We have developed twelve principles that will shape how we design and develop services for our ageing population. These are still in ‘draft’ and we are keen to hear what people who live or work in Oxfordshire think about them. See here for more information about the principles being developed.
What is happening?
As this work progresses, we are taking forward the Home First ambition to help older people receive care in their own homes wherever possible. To do this, our clinicians are exploring when community beds will give the best outcome and when care and therapy in a familiar setting, such as the person’s home, is more appropriate. From our initial engagement work with the public and service users, we have learnt that there are many important factors to consider when determining this:
- We need to think how we assist the person, their family and carers, and the clinicians supporting them, to make a really well informed decisions about their care based on the persons strengths, needs and preferences at that time
- We need to create capacity in the community and confidence that the capacity and capability of services is sufficient and available as needed.