South Gloucestershire Council has signed a two year contract to use NPS Integrated Care, with an option to extend a further two years, making it the first organisation to sign up for the online portal which enables people to manage their own care needs.
Through the portal, up to 6,000 residents per year are expected to take greater control over their care by accessing elf-assessment, advice, support planning and community care networks. The portal will also help them find out if they are entitled to funded care through online financial assessment, while reducing costs for the council through efficiency savings.
Provided by Northgate Public Services, the portal provides a secure, online environment for the agencies involved in supporting a person’s care, including GPs, the voluntary sector and housing providers. In the long run, it will enable more people to stay in their own homes for longer and take greater control of their own care needs, while reducing costs for the council and helping meet the requirements of the Care Act.
The news comes as UK councils deal with a ‘perfect storm’ in social care, with an ageing population, strained social care budgets and a funding gap predicted to run to £4.3 billion1 by the end of the decade.
Alan Sharp, Service Manager – Performance & Information Services, South Gloucestershire Council said:
“Providing efficient, smart social care and services to the local community is one of the most difficult – and still growing – challenges facing the local community. We’re addressing that partly with NPS Integrated Care, which we expect could benefit up to 6,000 residents per year in managing their own care and support, putting them and their carers more in control and helping them to better meet their needs in their own communities.”
Ian Blackhurst, Executive Director of Northgate Public Services said:
“This is an important win for us and for South Gloucestershire Council. It means that more residents will be able to use local services, ultimately helping them stay in their own home and enjoy the life they want for longer.
“Across the UK, social care is under pressure, thanks to the ‘perfect storm’ of an ageing population, the ongoing need to assess the needs of large numbers of people in the community, and a funding gap for adult social care that is estimated to be £4.3 billion by the end of the decade. NPS Integrated Care helps address the compelling case for action with a smart online tool that learns about users’ needs from their questions, then helps point them in the direction of the right outcome.
“It is also designed to tackle one of the most important but neglected aspects of social care – preventing things from becoming a problem in the first place by providing access to information and advice at an early stage.”