From Monday 6 April the council has temporarily adapted its approach to supporting the county’s most vulnerable adults. The changes ensure people will still get the support they need, whilst relieving pressure on hospitals and residential care during the Covid-19 crisis.

As part of the plans, the council has set up three new hubs, covering Gloucester, the Forest of Dean and Tewkesbury; Stroud, Cheltenham and the Cotswolds, and a third for adults with learning disabilities. Each hub will operate seven days a week from 8am to 8pm.

They will be run by a small group of staff who will quickly assess the new and changing needs of older people and other vulnerable adults who call into the council via the adults social care helpdesk. A network of colleagues, based remotely around the county, will offer further support which will include contact by phone, information and advice or signposting to other community support.  A visit will be arranged if it is considered the only way of determining a person’s needs.

Supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) have been given to frontline staff in adults services to make sure both they, and the people the vulnerable people they work with are protected.

Kathy Williams, cabinet member for adult social care at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “The new set up will allow us to make quick decisions about the care of our most vulnerable adults, whilst playing our part on reducing pressure on hospitals and other care settings that are already stretched. These arrangements are temporary and whilst we navigate ourselves through the current crisis, and we ask everyone to bear with us whilst we do the best we can in very difficult circumstances. I would like to thank all of our social care staff and the wider health services for the amazing job they are doing.”

To support discharges from hospital and to help prevent admissions, changes to services providing equipment to support people are home has also come into effect from today.

GIS healthcare, provides the integrated community equipment service and delivers, collects and refurbishes community equipment will now operate  seven days a week from 9am to 7pm, with community equipment delivery services prioritising people who are discharged from hospital..

In addition , the Telecare service, which supplies equipment to support people to live safely and independently in their own home, using special sensor to detect dangers, will extend its service to seven days from 8am to 6pm, again with a priority on supporting hospital discharges and preventing admissions.

Referrals for social care help and support should still be made through the Adult Help desk 01452 42 6868. This includes for Telecare support.  If you can offer any other help in your local community like shopping or collecting medication visit www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/help-hub

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