The health and care sector will face many challenges over the coming months and years. With much speculation around funding due to the EU exit on top of cuts that some areas have already been faced with, the future is looking less than bright.
In the last two weeks one northern council have delivered the news that they will be cutting substance misuse services funding by £545,000 and another have identified £3.5 million of cuts due to a shortfall in contributions to the Better Care Fund. The primary concern is the clients that are currently benefitting from these services and how they and future clients will be affected by these cuts.
What is more concerning is that there are already people falling between the gaps of different services even with the current levels of funding. It has been identified that those over 35 with a history of substance misuse are very likely to have additional health problems in line with those 15 years their senior. As an example, drug services are unable to tackle their drug issue until their mental health is treated but other health services refuse to treat them unless their drug issues are addressed.
In this kind of situation more investment is needed for better services; this will also help to save money in the long term. It seems the most efficient solution would be to allocate a single support worker to coordinate all of the necessary agencies. The focus needs to shift from process to people but with constraints such as split service criteria and funding shortfalls it seems to be a lose lose situation.
All of this considered there is an intermediate solution. One of the largest charities providing addiction services that has continued to grow exponentially after more than doubling its turnover in the last five years, has said that its success rests largely on its heavy investment into information systems.
The Halo system provides an environment in which client data can be accessed by all agencies so they can see the bigger picture. They can also send confidential messages to each other via the system, which will also save time. It also allows a worker to identify their most at risk patients and ensure they are receiving all of the support they need, in short, a single support worker.
Take a closer look at Halo’s features for managing Substance Misuse.