Happily, people are living longer and remaining healthier into old age. However this is altering the composition of our demographic so that by 2033 it is estimated that over a quarter of the population will be classed as older people. This presents significant new challenges across service provision within our communities as well as creating a growing valuable community asset that could be beneficial to all.
As a society, we have to plan ahead now to ensure that we have the health services and the infrastructure in place so that our aging population can live well and with dignity. After wide consultation, the governmental consensus that has emerged is that any new approach to care for our older people should focus on preventative care and community involvement. There is also a recognition that people need to learn how to look after their own health and loosen their dependence upon institutional care and that new ways need to be explored to let people stay active and engaged within their own communities. This is encompassed in a major Scottish Government initiative called Reshaping Care for Older People (RCfOP): A Programme for Change 2011-2021. It has an aim of adapting and improving services for an increasingly ageing population, predicted to grow by around two thirds by 2031.
Linked to the The Scottish Government's proposals for the integration of adult health and social care, it incorporates the idea that 'Older people are valued as an asset, their voices are heard and they are supported to enjoy full and positive lives in their own home or in a homely setting' and how local Health and Social Care Partnerships can shift the emphasis towards anticipatory care and prevention to help support and deliver this vision.
The Change Fund (£70 million in 2011/12) was introduced to finance this transformation as part of the reshaping care for older people programme to enable health, social care, housing, independent and third sector partners to implement local plans for making better use of their combined resources to improve outcomes for older people. Following the Spending Review 2012, Ministers announced that the Change Fund would make available £80m in 2012/13, a further £80m in 2013/14 and £70m in 2014/15.
Plans were submitted by NHS boards (Health), their Local Authority (Social Care), third and independent sector partners for spending this funding and subsequently accounted to the public by the Programme Management Group (PMG) of the Fife Health & Social Care Partnership. From 2013/14 onwards, Fife's Partnership will be expected to produce joint commissioning strategies and delivery plans over the medium and long-term and to engage with service users, carers and the public as they continue to develop their plans. Of note is the commitment that 20% of the funds will be allocated to supporting carers.
As part of this initiative Fife's third sector, through FVA, led the development of a Community Capacity Building Programme to assist with the aforementioned prevention agenda focussing on tackling social isolation; owning an active and healthy retirement; living independently in a homely setting and participating in the design of services and activities that impact older people.
The Community Interventions Fund (CIF) was launched in January 2012 to fund innovative third sector projects delivering the above. It is now managed by FVA. The Community Capacity Building (CCB) Steering Group was established to oversee the Fund and in 2011 selected 9 projects across Fife from the 28 applications received. The Steering Group provides progress updates to the Third Sector Strategy Group and Programme Management Group (PMG) who report on the use of the Change Funds across Fife. Meeting six to eight times a year, the group is chaired by FVA and is composed of representatives from the third sector, NHS Fife and Fife Council. FVA staff oversees the effectiveness and efficacy of ongoing Community Capacity Building in Fife.
The purpose of Community Capacity Building is to work directly with people in their own communities, building on the strengths that the community already has, so that they can become more confident and effective in addressing community needs and issues in the future.