Annual Report

Supporting people to live longer, healthier and happier lives

Integrated discharge - home first and new React service

In November 2020, changes were made to the Hospital Social Work, Continuing Health Care (CHC) and Home Assessment teams to meet standards in the COVID-19 Hospital Discharge Service Guidance.

The new approach has seen fewer social workers in hospital settings and more joined up processes to support people to get home from hospital with the care they need in the right place at the right time. Help with finding appropriate care for someone after their stay in hospital will be delivered by a dedicated team who will find care and support for people using NHS Enhanced Discharged Funding.

Domestic Abuse

Medium risk referrals continue to represent the highest proportion of referrals to the Council’s Domestic Abuse Team, and additional funding has been allocated to provide support for those who need it before their situations escalate. High risk cases remain the highest for some time - likely to be as a consequence of COVID 19 - and we’ve seen a 50 per cent increase in self-referrals from people in need of support. However, like many teams, Domestic Abuse staff have adapted their approach to provide that support; and continued to build on our excellent track record of partnership working with other front-line services.

We also continued to run the Open the Door campaign throughout summer 2020 and into 2021, and as at December 2020, webchats hosted by Cheshire Police, the Council, and partners across Cheshire had a reach of over 160,000 people.

Ellesmere Port Women’s Centre opened in 2020 and will work with up to 200 women who have experienced domestic abuse in a 12-month period. Referrals can be made by the police, probation and substance misuse services.

West Cheshire Autism Hub

This space was launched virtually in July 2020 but is now open at The Bluecoat in Chester. West Cheshire Autism Hub creates a welcoming space for autistic adults to access post-diagnostic support, volunteering and internship opportunities, social and community group activities.

It will be a place for autistic people and any people that may be supporting them to receive advice, information and support and will provide a support network to minimise risks associated with isolation, social anxiety and depression.
The hub is a collaboration between organisations from across west Cheshire that deliver autism services including Cheshire and Wirral Partnership, Cheshire West and Chester Council and NHS Cheshire CCG.

Transformed leisure offer

The Council and Brio are working together to change the way leisure services are delivered, so that we can make sure everyone can access sports and fitness opportunities easily and affordably.

Following public consultation, a new model for delivering leisure, health and wellbeing services is being designed for each area to support and improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and local communities. Services will also be delivered in different ways, closer to communities – including making more use of existing community facilities, partner networks, green spaces, outdoor facilities and digital opportunities. The ‘hub and spoke’ model offers a customised range of services to meet the needs of residents.

Securing football investment

In February 2021, the Council and Chester FC Community Trust were awarded a grant of £1,068,589 from the Premier League, The Football Association and Government’s Football Foundation to create a new football facilities in Blacon. It brings the total investment at Blacon Playing Fields to £1.8 million.

This will fund a full-size, floodlit, artificial grass pitch and a multi-use community building with changing rooms, kitchen, office and training room, along with a 104-space car park and improved access, creating a community sports hub across the wider site. Plans are also proposed to improve the existing facilities at King George V Playing Fields with new drainage for the grass pitches and refurbishment of the derelict pavilion.

All Age Carers Strategy

Launched on 1 April 2021, this strategy gives an overview of national and local policy and aims to draw on and reflect the lived experience of carers in the borough through five key priorities.

  • Early identification of carers
  • Supporting carers to achieve their full personal potential
  • Supporting access to the right support at the right time
  • Improving the health and wellbeing of carers
  • Providing services and systems that support all age carers

As part of the Government funding during the pandemic, 300 iPads were purchased to keep carers digitally connected and enable them to attend appointments and support groups to help them feel less isolated during lockdowns. It also allowed them to reorder medication and repeat prescriptions online.

Caring for someone

Care Communities

Nine new care communities have further localised health, social care and voluntary sector partnership working, to better meet the needs of individual communities.

Residents and local councillors work with the local GP network and the wider primary care team, including community mental health teams, district nurses, occupational health, community physio, midwives, dentists, opticians, pharmacists and other community specialists.

Complex Care Review team

The Complex Care and Review team has launched its review across Vivo, Autism Together and Health and CCG partners and is already identifying potential savings as part of its cross-cutting efficiencies work.

Assistive technology pilot

The Technology Enabled Care pilot project seeks to understand how technology can be used to support individuals with care needs. The pilot scheme is running across the Council’s Adult Social Care and Transitions services since March 2021.

The project will be evaluated to understand whether it has supported people effectively and whether it can be used as a more flexible, cost effective way of helping people continue to live independently.

New recruitment campaign

During the Coronavirus pandemic the Care Heroes recruitment campaign was launched to address the social care staffing crisis faced by the sector. The most recent campaign in April 2021 resulted in over 40 applications for front line roles supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our community.