Agenda item

Update on Recommendations set out in the Scrutiny Report on Dementia


The Health and Social Care Scrutiny Sub-Committee in September 2017 had agreed that a review should be undertaken on dementia friendly housing in the borough.


The research undertaken as part of this review had indicated the need for some long-term strategic thinking by the Council to ensure that it was able to meet and manage the needs of a growing ageing population with complex needs, utilising current resources and opportunities, against a backdrop of increasing financial pressures and limited resources.


Through the evidence gathered, five recommendations had been formed and the Sub-Committee received a report providing an update on the progress being made in relation to each of the recommendations as follows:


Recommendation 1 – Demand for Accommodation


·                     The results of the statistical modelling exercise to analyse demand, had estimated that by 2025 a range of between 153-580 people referred to the local authority could be catered for with Extra Care housing, depending on the type of provision and financial arrangements involved and relevant provision available to meet diverse cultural needs;


·                     Council departments had been working together to explore ways to increase the supply of Extra Care Housing for Older People in the Borough;


·                     there was currently one Extra Care scheme in Harrow, Ewart House (Harrow Churches Housing Association); however additional Extra Care homes were in the pipeline including Watkins House, having been transferred from Harrow Council to Harrow Churches Housing Association.  The Wolstenholme & Rectory site (Harrow Churches Housing Association) would  provide 57 units (replacing the 32 current units of sheltered housing on part of the site, thus a net increase of 25); 


·                     the developer of Harrow View East / Kodak had been requested to  provide an Extra Care housing scheme as part of the affordable housing contribution for the site; and


·                     opportunities for additional Extra Care developments were being reviewed on an ongoing basis.


Recommendation 2 - Developing a cost neutral solution for Extra Care Housing


·                      A number of site options would be explored including the potential for development on the Poets Corner site.  The potential for existing older persons housing schemes to be upgraded to better meet the needs of frailer older people was also being considered; and


·                     a report on Extra Care Housing presented to Cabinet on 15 November 2018 had set out the Adults Social Care vision for extra care housing in Harrow and the strategy to increase the supply of extra care housing for older people in Harrow.  Reports would be brought back to Cabinet as options were identified and business cases and funding arrangements developed.


Recommendation 3 - Production of Older People’s Housing Strategy Update


A review of all the Council’s published Housing Strategies was currently being undertaken and a new Strategy would be reported to Cabinet in 2019/2020 to include, amongst other things, a section on supported housing incorporating Housing for Older People including those with dementia.


Recommendation 4 - Refresh the Borough’s Joint Dementia Strategy


·                     The final draft of the Harrow CCG and Harrow Council Joint Dementia Strategy 2018–2021, presented to the Health and Social Care Scrutiny Sub-Committee in October 2018, had outlined the significant progress that had been made since 2010 in a number of areas;


·                     the Strategy provided a framework for creating and empowering the dementia environment for people living with dementia and their families;


·                     the Strategy would be subject to scrutiny to identify potential gaps and learn from comments received;


·                     since publication of the Strategy work had been carried out  collaboratively on delivering several themes forming the  dementia Improvement Plan including:  Admiral Nurses; Dementia Hub; A clear pathway for people living with dementia; single point of access; information and training;


·                     a new post-diagnosis pathway had been designed and was being tested before full implementation;


·                     a second Dementia Hub at the Bridge Centre, Christchurch Avenue, was launched on 16 April 2019 to complement the first Dementia Hub, known as 'Annie's Place'; and


·                     combined, the hubs were being accessed by up to 80 people per week with the running costs being met by Public Health's wider social determinants budget.


Recommendation 5 - Explore Opportunities for Increased Partnership Working


·                     Harrow Clinical Commissioning Group, the Local Authority and key Providers in Harrow had been working in partnership to develop and deliver integrated care initially for a subset of older adults, one group being the 65+ with dementia;


·                     in accordance with the publication of the NHS long term plan, the North West London Sustainable Transformation Partnership (STP) was developing their approach to create  integrated care across North West London;


·                     Harrow CCG and Harrow Council were  working with Providers, the newly established Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and the VCS to establish the Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) in Harrow;


·                     the Council had been working with Voluntary Action Harrow (VAH) to raise awareness of dementia diagnosis and support services among BAME communities; and


·                     in addition, VAH, as part of Harrow Community Action, was actively involved in the roll out of social prescribing in Harrow which aimed to address the needs of people who did not have a clinical or social care need and who could be making better use of services in the community or voluntary sector to help them improve their wellbeing.


In responses to questions from Councillors Mote and Dr Lewinson a number of issues were clarified/confirmed including the following:


·                     the preliminary results from the survey carried out indicated that users were very positive and appreciative of the support provided at the Bridge Hub;


·                     some uncertainty existed on whether the resources for next year to support dementia would  be at the same level as this year’s level;


·                     progress was being made to use assistive technology, including making greater use of the website to disseminate relevant information, to support those diagnosed with dementia to remain in their homes with feedback from carers also being positive;


·                     progress was being made to increase awareness of, and access to, services, especially amongst Harrow’s older Black and Minority Ethnic Communities by, for example, providing more information on the website, holding training awareness events. providing guides and working with partner organisations including Voluntary Action Harrow; and


·                     progress was being made, for example the deployment of a pre-screening tool to reduce the number of people with dementia but not diagnosed.


The Sub-Committee, whilst recognising the need for more work, was pleased to note the progress that was being made to implement the recommendations.


RESOLVED:  That the update report be noted.