Barnet Post

Barnet Post

Expansion of council's wellbeing team agreed

Move made in attempt to reduce dependency on care services

Hero for Expansion of council's wellbeing team agreed
Hendon Town Hall

Barnet Council will more than double the size of a team set up to reduce reliance on care services and help people remain independent.

The number of roles in the town hall’s in-house prevention and wellbeing team will be expanded from eight to 19 as part of an ongoing drive to cut costs and ensure people stay healthier for longer.

It comes as the adults and safeguarding committee looks to save £3.4million over the next three years, in a bid to reduce the council’s total budget gap of £56.5m.

The prevention and wellbeing team works with people on the edge of the care system to improve their outcomes and prevent, reduce or delay their need for services.

According to a report presented to the committee on Tuesday, funding has been secured to enable a “significant expansion” of the team’s work, allowing it to manage around 450 referrals per year from 2022/23, up from 200 at present.

The team provides personalised support for people known to adult social care and their informal carers, helping them to set short-term, achievable wellbeing goals. It also works to ensure people with dementia are able to remain living in the community for as long as possible.

In addition, it helps to create new support initiatives and carries out community engagement and development work with local organisations.

During the committee meeting on Tuesday, councillors welcomed the expansion of the team but raised concerns that some people were waiting too long for care after struggling to access services.

Dawn Wakeling, executive director of adults and health, said the council had an urgent response team that can respond “extremely quickly” in crisis situations.

She added: “We do have a very robust screening process, so we can respond to those requests in a timely manner.”

Committee members unanimously agreed the proposed priorities and approach for the expanded prevention and wellbeing service.