Fast grants available to improve local communities

We‘re inviting residents and community groups with a great idea to improve their local area, to apply for a Fast Grant.

Amounts available range from £50 – £500 and can be spent on –

  • Improving a local area
  • Running activities such as stay and play groups and arts and craft group
  • Developing local talent and skills
  • Or encouraging the community to be fit and healthy

These grants are designed to bring communities together ­- and anyone with an idea which will have a benefit for Oldham can apply.

The Fast Grants have been made available through the Thriving Communities programme which focuses on building on the strengths that already exist within our communities.

Councillor Zahid Chauhan, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said “Often the best medicine is to enjoy community facilities and activities such as walking, gardening and support groups.

“Helping everyone to enjoy all the community has to offer also reduces isolation and loneliness by connecting people.“

Councillor Sean Fielding, Leader of Oldham Council added “I’d encourage anyone with a great idea or who wants to make a difference to their community to apply for a grant. It’s a really simple process and only takes five minutes.”

You can apply for a Fast Grant by visiting www.oldhamcares.com/fast-grants  or by emailing thriving.communities@oldhamcares.com

Thanks a million to a wonderful service

An Oldham grandma has praised health and social care professionals for improving her husband’s quality of life.

Dorothy Barcroft and her husband, Brian, live in Shaw.

Following a fall at home, Brian needed a period of care and support to help him get back to his usual self. Thanks to the Oldham Rapid Community Assessment Team (ORCAT), Brian could receive this care and support in his own home, rather than having to stay in hospital.

ORCAT is made up of health professionals from our Trust, social care professionals from Oldham Council and a support worker from Age UK Oldham.

The team works closely with hospital colleagues to identify people who can be appropriately cared for at home. This helps to prevent people from being admitted to hospital unnecessarily, or to be discharged more quickly.

Within a matter of days of Brian being discharged from hospital, the team had supported improvements to his home to allow him to move around more freely and independently. This included hand rails on their stairs and in the bathroom and a special chair.

Dorothy was also pleased with the team’s efficient and friendly manner, which meant she was confident to just pick up the phone if she had any worries or questions.

She said: “It was like having friends dropping in to help – you could phone the team whenever and they would put your mind at rest.

“Nothing was too much bother for them. I called them one day and they were there in less than an hour. They thought of so many little things which have made a big difference to our independence.

“The service is so helpful that I passed on their number to a friend. They helped her in the same way. I’m lost for words; I’d like to say thanks a million to them.”

LGA Adult Social Care and Wellbeing Consultation

Health and social care services are changing, not just in Oldham but nationally. Years of significant underfunding alongside rising demand and costs for care and support has pushed adult social care services to breaking point. That is why the Local Government Association is running a major national consultation to look at how to pay for adult social care and support for older people, working age adults with mental or physical disabilities and unpaid carers.

The LGA estimates that adult social care services face an annual funding gap of £3.5 billion by 2025.

More and more people are unable to receive good, reliable care, such as help with getting washed and dressed, and funding is increasingly having to be diverted from other vital council services, such as parks, leisure centres and libraries, to plug growing adult social care funding gaps.

The LGA’s eight-week consultation is open to all members of the public – regardless of whether they are directly affected by or receive adult social care and support – and community groups. The findings will be used to help influence the Government’s own green paper and its spending plans. To take part visit The LGA green paper for adult social care and wellbeing | The lives we want to lead

Cllr Chauhan – Oldham Cares

Cllr Chauhan – Oldham Cares from Oldham Council on Vimeo.

Reanne White, Community nursing

Visitors from across the world learn from Oldham health services

Health professionals from Singapore, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand visited services in Oldham to learn more about how our local NHS services are delivered.

Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and local GPs, hosted the international delegates who were visiting the borough as part of a ‘three countries study tour’ organised by the International Foundation for Integrated Care and supported by the NHS North West Leadership Academy.

The delegates visited a number of health services and were shown examples of how Oldham teams are working together to improve care for patients.

This included the Oldham Urgent Care Alliance, which is made up of a number of local organisations that work together to improve urgent care services outside of hospital, helping to care for people closer to home and reduce pressure on the busy A&E department.

They also visited Oldham’s first integrated ‘cluster’ team which is made up of community health services, primary care, social care and voluntary community services working together alongside GPs to help patients have all their needs met by different services in a seamless way.

Caroline Drysdale, Chair of the Oldham Urgent Care Alliance and Oldham Community Services Director at Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It was great to be invited to host such a prestigious event in Oldham along with our CCG and primary care colleagues. It was a chance to reflect on how far we’ve come in improving Oldham services by working together across the different local health and care organisations. We hope our international visitors found the visit useful and were able to take some learnings away to implement in their areas.”

Deborah Davis, Managing Director of NHS North West Leadership Academy, said: “Having been involved with the International Foundation of Integrated Care for the last number of years and taking our North West participants to visit examples in other parts of the world; it was wonderful to be asked to host the England part of the International tour and be able to showcase the fantastic work happening with our colleagues in Oldham and other parts of the North West. It just shows you, sometimes great stuff is happening just around the corner!”

Oldham care team shortlisted for top national nursing award

The Oldham Rapid Community Assessment Team (ORCAT) has been shortlisted for a national Nursing Times award for the work it does to treat patients at home instead of in hospital.

The team is hosted by Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust and is made up of health, social care and third sector professionals. The team works closely with hospital staff to identify patients who could be cared for in the community, instead of being admitted to hospital or to allow them to be discharged safely and quickly.

Since November 2016, the team have received 670 referrals – accepting 509 with 495 home assessments being completed.

Vicki Elcock, Urgent Care Service Lead, said: “The team has worked really hard to provide the best care to patients, so it is fantastic to be shortlisted for this prestigious award.

“It’s essential that community-based services work closely together, alongside the teams in our local hospitals, to ensure people can receive care closer to home. As long as the right support is in place, being at home has better outcomes for the patient who is able to regain their independence.

“It is also beneficial for the whole local health and care system, because ensuring people can be discharged quickly and safely helps to reduce some of the pressures faced by hospitals.”

The service will find out if they win the award in November.

Click here to find out how the service helped a patient called David better manage his COPD.

Oldham pensioner’s thanks for social support

An Oldham pensioner has thanked a new health and social care partnership for helping him improve his quality of life.

Graham Williams, 78, has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease which has led to regular trips to hospital.

He had also become socially isolated following the death of his mother several years ago and hospital staff recognised he would benefit from some extra support.

Graham was seen by the Oldham Rapid Community Assessment Team (ORCAT) and agreed to support from Age UK Oldham, who are part of ORCAT.

ORCAT works closely with colleagues at The Royal Oldham Hospital, including those in the A&E department, to react quickly and prevent people from being admitted to hospital if they can be supported at home with the right professional help.

The service was established by the Oldham Urgent Care Alliance, a partnership of 10 health, care and voluntary sector organisations developed to improve outcomes for local people by enhancing current service provision.

Donna Speat from Age UK Oldham arranged for Graham to attend luncheon clubs and other activities to socialise with others.

She said: “We’ve been working with Graham for about six months now and I’m delighted to see how much he’s enjoyed having some company.”

Graham added: “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I feel very close to all the staff.”

Vicki Elcock, ORCAT Manager at Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It’s fantastic that we’ve been able to help Graham not only improve his health but also start to take part in more social activities.

“There’s a clear link between social interaction and wellbeing and it’s something we’re proud to support with ORCAT.

“Our service helps to get people out of hospital by putting support in place at home to give them the best possible quality of life.”

Once at home, the team takes a partnership approach to assessment and care planning to understand what level of support the individual may need to live as safely and independently as possible.

Find out more about ORCAT at www.penninecare.nhs.uk/ORCAT

New Oldham team helps to get people home from hospital

Oldham residents will be supported to return home from hospital quickly and safely, thanks to a new team of health, social care and third sector professionals.

The Oldham Rapid Community Assessment Team works closely with colleagues at The Royal Oldham Hospital, including those in the A&E department, to react quickly and prevent people from being admitted to hospital if they can be supported at home with the right professional help.

Once at home, the team takes a partnership approach to assessment and care planning to understand what level of support the individual may need to live as safely and independently as possible.

The team works with the patient to identify the tasks they may need help with – such as getting in and out of bed or a chair, mobilising around the home, getting washed and dressed, making meals and managing medication – working with community, mental health and social care professionals to ensure appropriate support is provided if needed on an ongoing basis.

Practical services such as warm home assessments, home adaptations and social activities such as luncheon clubs can also be arranged by the team.

The service was established by the Oldham Urgent Care Alliance, a partnership of 10 health, care and voluntary sector organisations developed to improve outcomes for local people by enhancing current service provision.

It consists of therapists, nurses, health care assistants and mental health practitioners from Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, social workers from Oldham Council, and a Promoting Independence in People (PIP) support worker from Age UK Oldham, who have been brought together to work as one multi-agency team.

As well as preventing people from being admitted to hospital by identifying them early, the team works closely with hospital-based nurses, doctors, discharge coordinators and the RAID mental health liaison team to also support patients who have been admitted to the wards who could be discharged early with the support of the service.

Caroline Drysdale, Oldham Community Services Director at Pennine Care and Chair of the Oldham Urgent Care Alliance, said: “It’s essential that community-based services work closely together, alongside the teams in our local hospitals, to ensure people can receive care closer to home. As long as the right support is in place, being at home has better outcomes for the patient who is able to regain their independence.

“It is also beneficial for the whole local health and care system, because ensuring people can be discharged quickly and safely helps to reduce some of the pressures faced by hospitals. This is even more important over the winter months, when our health and care services will be busier than usual.”

The Oldham Rapid Community Assessment Team has been commissioned by NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group.

Cllr Eddie Moores, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said “This new service will help those who need a lower level of support and will complement  a range of other services,  designed to ensure people can return from hospital in a hospital in a timely and safe manner.  All the stakeholders have worked hard to integrate their teams so that residents receive joined up services which are more efficient and which ensure continuity to their care.”