But not in South Somerset
The idea certainly sounds like a good one. Somerset Independent Plus is aimed at keeping people in their own homes for longer. The idea behind the service has more to do with joined up thinking than rocket science. The benefits of enabling people to live independently in their homes are many. Not just in terms of good mental health, pride and self-respect, but also in terms of hard cash. Most people would rather live in their own homes, but it also saves the state the cost of providing social housing, social care, care home beds or even hospital care.
So it is perhaps not surprising that the new service being launched this week involved the NHS, Somerset County Council and four of our five District Councils. The service aims to keep people in their own homes for longer by offering practical and financial help. That might be financial assistance to cover improvements, adaptations or repairs that might need to be carried out in the home. The service can offer a care and repair team working with adult social care services, occupational therapists and the NHS.
Some services are free, whilst others have a fee but generally it is not hard to see why the service makes sense, for the service users and the service providers alike.
But whereas the district councils of Somerset and the County Council have come together to pool resources to offer the service, we are told that South Somerset District Council declined to provide financial support to the scheme.
For the moment it looks as if South Somerset residents will be eligible to benefit but presumably this will not be a long term arrangement if SSDC are the only authority not providing funding support.