Queens Cross older people’s service reducing health and social care pressures

Christina McKelvie MSP (left) meets Queens Cross tenant Margaret Dalzell at a Health & Wellbeing workshop, part of the Association’s activities programme

Queens Cross Housing Association’s new Older People’s Service (OPS) is helping reduce pressure on more costly health and social care services.

The results from the first five months of the service operating were announced as Christina McKelvie MSP, minister for older people and equalities, met some service users taking part in a range of health and wellbeing activities on International Day of Older Persons.

Queens Cross’s director of neighbourhood services, Louise Smith, said: “We’re still in the early stages but the evidence is starting to tell us that the redesigned service is popular with tenants, provides good outcomes and savings for other services.

“Sixty people were supported by the Intervention Service in the first five months and we’ve had to refer only four of those people on to social care for additional support. This shows that this new model can prevent people needing social care in certain situations.”

“The whole focus is about working alongside our health and social care colleagues to keep people in their homes and communities and we are determined to show the huge difference a community based housing association can make to the quality of older people’s lives,” Louise added.

The Intervention Service was set up after the Association secured funding for one year from April 2018 from Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership. It is aimed at people who need help for a few weeks because they have become unwell and have no other support. It is designed to help them get back on their feet and into their own homes again if they have been admitted to hospital or experience some other crisis in their life.

Christina McKelvie MSP with Queens Cross Housing Association chief executive, Shona Stephen (far left) with tenants Irene Slane and Catherine McArthur

Tenant Frances Young benefited from the service after a short illness.

“I can’t praise the staff enough, there was nothing they wouldn’t do for me whether it was getting my shopping or my medication, to just visiting me every day to make sure I was ok, nothing was too much trouble,” she said.

Minister for older people Christina McKelvie said: “Today is International Day of Older Persons and I am delighted Queens Cross Housing Association’s new service is having such a positive impact. This is a great example of a housing provider thinking differently about the care it provides each and every day, allowing people to regain and retain their independence.

“We want to enable older people to contribute and thrive and also look after those with ill health or disabilities. And we need to ensure that the systems are in place to allow people to live as independently as possible, for as long as they want or need. It’s my aim to ensure that older people in Scotland have the opportunity to lead the best life they can, to feel valued, respected and listened to - that they are an essential part of the vibrant country that we live in.”

The Association’s Retirement Service, another strand of the Older People’s Service, focuses on helping householders manage their tenancy such as understanding letters from the association and accessing benefits. They also organise social events for older tenants to keep them active, prevent loneliness and help them get out of the house more often.

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