Reading Older People's Partnership Board: Increasing preventative services for older people

ReadingBorough Councilhas commissioned a range of services aimed at reducing demand for social care, reducing emergency hospital admissions, and improving older people's health and well-being. These range from practical help for people after hospital or intermediate care discharge to services that aim to break down social isolation and identify unmet needs. A particularly innovative approach is the setting up of teleconferencing networks to develop people's social networks. So far there are four up and running, including one Polish group, one for the Indian community and a 'just home from hospital' group. Other projects target groups such as women or those with dementia and all involve a wide range of voluntary sector partners and the use of trained volunteers to deliver some of the services, for instance befriending and gardening advice. Encouraging active participation in the community is a key feature of these services.

The expected benefits include reduction in demand for social care support and emergency hospital admission and significant improvements in older people's health and well-being.