A Sleaford-based organisation which helps adults across Lincolnshire facing a range of challenges has expanded its operation.
Adults Supporting Adults (ASA) has recently recruited eight new ‘day time providers’ (DTPs) to its ranks.
The not-for-profit operation, based at Sleaford Business Park, works with adults who have a learning or physical disability, sensory impairment, lived experience of mental illness or people with dementia and who require support to live in the community.
The increase in DTPs follows what the organisation calls a ‘substantial rise’ in referrals for people with mental ill health.
This, it says, can be traced back to Government cuts affecting the amount of support available through the NHS for people in such circumstances wanting to maintain their independence.
It comes at a time, it adds, where due to a change in Government legislation about who is eligible for its support, it is seeing mental ill health become a bigger part of its work.
“Over the last few years, ASA have seen a substantial rise in referrals from Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust (LPFT) for people diagnosed with an enduring mental illness,” said new operations manager Emma Duncomb. “If eligible for support after assessment, the person is allocated a Personal Budget funded by LPFT. This gives the individual greater choice and control over the services purchased.
“The main aim of the DTPs service is to maintain the person’s independence in their own home, so they remain in the community. The aim is to reduce the need for acute hospital and inpatient care, of which there are less beds and are understandably more costly.”
ASA currently has more than 70 DTPs, providing almost 50,000 hours of support each year to some 200-plus clients.
The organisation is also coming to the end of a year-long study funded by the Cabinet Office to establish the benefits of supporting people with mental ill health in the community through the services ASA deliver.
The staff were recently visited by the National Development Team for Inclusion, a not-for-profit organisation, wich has been tasked by the Cabinet Office to analyse the raw data collated over seven pilot sites across England.
Once all the findings are drawn together, a report will be presented to NHS England early next year, which, ASA hope, will lead to services similar to those provided by ASA being funded on a wider national scale.
For more on ASA, visit www.asaorg.co.uk