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Council declares ‘critical incident’ in adult social care

Cornwall Council has declared a "Critical Incident" in adult social care, a move which it said would “help alleviate pressure on our hospitals, reduce ambulance waiting times and allow more patients who no longer require hospital care to be discharged back into the community”.

The local authority said it would work with its 70 commissioned homecare providers and 222 care homes to provide support for around 180 people who have finished their hospital treatment, as well as helping support others in the community who are waiting for care packages.

It added that leaders in the health and care system agreed on Monday to support the council in collectively managing higher thresholds of risk, including, on an individual basis, reshaping packages of care to meet more people’s care needs and repurposing some care services for younger adults to meet the needs of older adults.

The council will also be drawing on its own workforce, potentially redeploying staff into different roles to support social care, as well as asking the voluntary sector to mobilise all its available resources to support efforts to free up 100 beds within two weeks.

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Cllr Andy Virr, Cabinet Member for Care and Wellbeing said: “These extraordinary circumstances require a different level of response in our care system, which is currently unable to meet demand - particularly for hospital discharges. This approach will see us work as one system, sharing risk in order to meet these increased demands, and I’d like to say a big thank you to those families and service users who are helping support us in this.

“And if you have a friend or neighbour who was recently discharged from hospital please consider how you might be able to help in their recovery. It can be something as simple as running an errand or making a phone call to check they’re OK. These small acts of kindness can make all the difference.”

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