Cambridgeshire County Council Enhanced Response Service image

Cambridgeshire County Council says its Enhanced Response Service (ERS) – which helps people with non-emergency assistance – has responded to over 6,000 call outs since it started nearly four years ago.

Part of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Reablement Service, the technology-enabled care (TEC) service helps vulnerable people stay safe and, where possible, in their own homes during the pandemic.

Reablement helps people to recover and regain their independence after leaving hospital or to recover from an illness or injury in their own home.

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During the pandemic, the ERS team – which is available 24/7, 365 days a year – has also supported care homes when staff have had to self-isolate due to contracting coronavirus.

The service was set up in April 2017 and responds with non-emergency assistance. It reduces the number of unnecessary ambulance call outs, provides people with the support and confidence to live in their own homes and supports informal carers with the work they do.

Over the years, the ERS has seen significant expansion, growing from 1,979 calls in its first year to 6,096 calls in 201/2020.

The ERS links up with anyone who has a community alarm or lifeline installed in their home and provides:

  • assistance to get a person up from the floor following a fall
  • personal care needed in an urgent and unplanned circumstance, which is not part of a regular care package
  • reassurance following an incident at home

The ERS can also act as an alternative or additional responder when usual key holders are not available or non-contactable, a suitable person cannot be identified, or the usual carer is unable to complete the care needed.

Before the ERS was established, the council says that telecare call centres would call out an ambulance if no informal carer could be contacted, meaning the ambulance service received a high number of calls which were not medical emergencies.

The ERS currently has 24 responders who attend calls, an assistant coordinator and two coordinators who line-manage the responders. Work is in hand to base an additional team at the Cambridge Professional Development Centre, south of Cambridge, Cambridge County Council says.

Earlier this year, the ERS started providing a service for Peterborough City from its Hereward Hall base. Responders help with referrals from the Peterborough Reablement Team, Adult Early Help, Transfer of Care, long-term care teams and the ambulance service.

Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council have been focused over the last three years on transforming adult social care, placing the wellbeing and independence of residents at the heart of its approach. This has included helping more people stay in their own homes independently rather than needing social care packages.

This approach has included ERS, as well as technology to keep people safe and independent in their own homes.

Cllr Anna Bailey, Chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Adults Committee, said: “The Enhanced Response Service is a vital part of our commitment to helping people to stay living in their own homes and independent for as long as possible as the population of older people in our communities continues to grow.

“Its responders are also providing crucial support during the pandemic to ease some of the pressures on the emergency services, who are doing a terrific job under very challenging circumstances.”

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