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Help people get the best start and age well

12 February 2019

Help keep vulnerable children safer and enable them to fulfil their potential

The Council’s innovative approach has helped make it safer for children to live at home, reducing the number of children who live in care. Essex faces new challenges in the community that include dealing with sexual exploitation and gangs, but it is a priority to improve outcomes for the most vulnerable children, young people and families in Essex. The Council has one of the most efficient and effective children’s services in the country. The challenge is to continue to deliver good outcomes for children and their families, as demand on services increases, yet funding available for local government declines.

In the next year the Council will: 

  • Continue to develop new employment opportunities for disabled young people and care leavers 
  • Develop living places for young disabled people to live independently within integrated communities 
  • Have a new contract arrangement with residential care to provide better value placements and stronger partnerships with the sector 
  •  Embed and continue to deliver savings from the redesign of the adoption and fostering service 
  • Grow further income through consultancy, including working with another twelve authorities, as Partners in Practice 
  • Review the impact of the Family Solutions service, considering options for future development 
  • Work with our schools to promote inclusion and challenge practices that are detrimental to the health and wellbeing of children 
  • Work on our technology and information systems to reduce the burden on practitioners, support best practice and strengthen management oversight of performance

Enable more vulnerable adults to live independent of social care

Demand for care is growing, with the population of older people in Essex expected to grow by 21% over the next decade and the population aged more than 85 expected to grow by more than 60%. The Council will continue driving towards a service model focused on prevention and early intervention with the right care being provided at the right time in the right place, thus supporting the Government’s ambition of increasing independent living by five years. 

The Council will work collaboratively with partners across the complex health geography in Essex and with the care sector to ensure high quality provision. The population of people with learning disabilities and autism is also growing and the Council will transform its services to improve outcomes so that people with learning disabilities and autism can lead meaningful lives.

In the next year the Council will: 

  • Progress the delivery of the “meaningful lives” programme to improve outcomes for adults with learning disabilities and autism across areas such as housing, employment and independent living 
  • Continue supporting its reablement service and recommission its short-term intermediate care services to help more people live independently, thus reducing reliance on hospital services 
  • Commence roll out of a new approach to Independent Living to deliver more places to live for older people and people with learning disabilities 
  • Accelerate the drive to effective integration of health and social care services through highly effective Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships and, in particular, through developing an approach to population health management with NHS partners and completing a locality based Joint Strategic Needs Assessment 
  • Continue to develop and implement initiatives to promote safer provision of care for elderly residents and drive ever higher standards of care quality and value for money in Essex 
  • Gain a step change in the quality and accessibility of information, advice and guidance for carers and vulnerable people 
  • Gain a deeper understanding of, and develop, proposals to radically improve outcomes for those prone to, or suffering from, mental illness across Essex

Improve the health of people in Essex

Life expectancy is higher than the national average but varies by geography within Essex and life expectancy is lower for vulnerable and socially excluded groups partly due to deprivation. Lifestyle choices can exacerbate these inequalities. Avoidable deaths from heart disease and mental health remain key issues. Social isolation, low levels of physical activity, obesity, and diabetes are key challenges and levels of substance misuse are increasing.

In the next year the Council will: 

  • Roll out a sustainable model to address social isolation across Essex including encouraging behavioural change in local communities 
  • Drive, with partners, the Sport England Local Delivery Pilot to sustainably improve physical activity, reduce obesity and diabetes in the population and add to national learning. 
  • Use Health in All Policies (HiAP) and other mechanisms to ensure the Council and partners can use the widest range of approaches to improve health and wellbeing and to reduce inequalities 
  • Work with key employers to improve workforce health 
  • Implement agreed national best practice to tackle teenage pregnancy 
  • Grow and evaluate the new community focused approach to weight management 
  • Foster the launch of a drug and alcohol charity and explore opportunities to attract additional income 
  • Work with partners to deliver the ambitions in the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy, including through the establishment of an Essex Wide prevention group with partners to address risk factors for avoidable death and illness.