Community Services

The Importance of Community Care Services

Community Care Services cover a wide range of services that are provided outside of a hospital or care facility enabling individuals to live more independently and enabling them to integrate within their community more easily. Currently community health services account for around £10 billion of the NHS’s total annual budget and around one-fifth of the entire NHS workforce.

Community Care Services are available to adults of all ages, whether they are elderly, struggling to cope with mental illness or living with some form of chronic/long-term physical disability. They are essential in allowing vulnerable individuals to live a more independent life without the need for them to move into a full-time care facility or hospital. Community Care Services are mainly delivered in people’s homes; however, they can also be provided through community hospitals, intermediate care facilities, clinics, and schools.

Community care teams are made up of a wide variety of professionals including GPs, community nurses, allied health professionals, district nurses, mental health nurses, therapists, and social care workers.

Examples of Community Care Services

Community care services can come in a variety of different forms and include essential aid and support such as rapid crisis response services, district nursing, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and in particularly severe cases end of life and palliative care. An example of a community care service might be a nurse visiting an elderly person at home to help with their medication or a support worker helping a child in a wheelchair with personal care, such as bathing or getting dressed.

They may also include provision or access to a vast range of QOL (quality of life) aids such as health insurance, food stamps. Legal services and transportation as well as essential equipment including walking sticks/aids, mobility scooters, disabled access ramps and exercise equipment.

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Who has access to community care services?

Community care services are available to individuals suffering from a range of impediments including long-term illness, mental health issues and other acute or chronic conditions such as MD or rheumatoid arthritis. If you yourself or a loved one has trouble with everyday tasks such as washing, cooking and getting dressed, or perhaps you’ve just been released from hospital and need some form of extra assistance, then you can take a care needs assessment to determine what kind of help you need. The assessment will be carried out by your local council/authority who will look at your income and savings to assess whether you are entitled to any kind of financial support towards paying for any care services that maybe required. If the council deems that you are indeed eligible for some kind of financial help, then you have two options. The local council can arrange homecare services on your behalf or alternatively, you can choose to receive direct payments from the council paid into your bank account allowing you to arrange homecare yourself through a private care company that can provide more personalised care arrangements tailored to you or your loved one’s specific needs.

Benefits and Impacts Provided by Community Care Services

Access to community care services can really help to transform a person’s life, allowing them to maintain a healthy lifestyle both physically and mentally. Not only can these types of services help individuals to live more independently but they can also help them make social connections by providing access to activities such as voluntary work and leisure trips to cinemas, the local swimming pool, historical sites, etc. Evidence has shown that the design and implementation off community-based services may help improve health and wellbeing within communities, reduce the demand for intensive hospital or residential care, improve quality of care for people with complex needs, help people to understand and respond to people’s physical health, mental health or social needs and provide access to specialist advice and support.

With the coronavirus pandemic still effecting thousands of vulnerable adults living alone or with disabilities, it’s more important than ever to make sure everyone has access to some sort of care and support should they need it. Care homes have become a hotbed for the coronavirus which means that community care services are becoming increasingly valuable in helping people to live a satisfying and meaningful life.

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