Telford & Wrekin Council has developed an extra care providers’ forum to increase joined up working and efficiencies in supported housing.
The quarterly meetings bring together providers of extra care housing, adult social care operational managers, commissioners from housing and adult social care. Other stakeholders, such as the hospital discharge, community learning and participation teams attend on invitational basis. In future, the Council aims to expand the forum to include all providers of housing for older people.
The forum is an opportunity to share best practice in both housing and care and support services: the group works together to address system and process blockages, manages the joint referral process and discusses solutions for complex cases. They also collaborate to develop best practice, discussing future models of working such as proactively maintaining a balance of residents’ needs within their schemes.
Providers are encouraged to raise any challenges within their schemes that would benefit from collaboration or improved links with other areas and work with the Council to find solutions. Early meetings identified access and referral as an issue for both providers (filling property voids) and for the Council (not being able to prioritise referrals for voids). By working together over a period of time a joint access and referral process has been developed resulting in the Council holding a waiting list, completing only one application form and being offered first refusal on all voids. The providers’ forum is now also used as a panel arrangement to regularly review difficult cases to identify solutions together.
The Council has an extensive community learning offering and the provider forum has been used to make sure sheltered and extra care housing providers are aware of this and actively promote to their residents. This includes a number of courses and activities that promote wellbeing and allow continuous learning. The Council is working with the forum to increase uptake of these opportunities.
The Council has also developed an interactive map of specialist and supported accommodation in the area, which it is looking to share with Providers to aid connections amongst providers, encourage working together and to allow residents to link in with other local services. It is hoped this will increase participation and value for money for the Council and benefits residents through a wider set of opportunities and experiences.
Last updated: 29/07/2020 15:01