Leeds to test different ways of caring for people with long term ill health

HEALTH chiefs have launched a bid to tackle hidden deprivation and health problems blighting North Yorkshire and counter a stark divide in life expectancy between the rich and poor.

HEALTH chiefs have launched a bid to tackle hidden deprivation and health problems blighting North Yorkshire and counter a stark divide in life expectancy between the rich and poor.

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Different ways of caring for people living with long-term ill health are to be tested in Leeds.

The city is one of seven nationwide to receive earmarked cash under the Department of Health’s ‘Year of Care’ scheme.

Leeds has signed up to changing the current care system to one that is more holistic. Under the new approach, health and social care professionals try to establish a patient’s likely needs, what support they might require and then calculate an overall budget for a year of their care.

The model is intended to help people become less dependent on hospital treatment by focusing on overall needs and not just treating specific illnesses or diseases.

GPs, health workers, social care staff and others will increasingly work side-by-side, sharing information and taking a more co-ordinated approach to the way services are delivered.

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Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds Council executive board member for adult social care said: “It’s essentially about improving people’s health and making better use of resources by shifting the focus away from disease-specific treatment and towards person-centred care. For the first time there will be just a single budget for supporting people through illness, with health care and social care operating as a single unit to support a person through long-term ill-health.

“I am delighted that Leeds has been given the opportunity to pioneer this new approach of delivering care. The year of care funding model supports our aim to ensure that older people and people with long-term conditions have better lives.”

Dr Andy Harris, chief clinical officer designate and shadow chairman of the Leeds South and East Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We are delighted to have been chosen as one of the seven early implementer sites for the year of care funding model.

“This project gives us the opportunity to build on the ongoing work in integrating health and social care in Leeds, and to explore new ways of funding for people with long term conditions. Our focus will always be on delivering the best possible patient experience and we feel the year of care can support this.”

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