Neighbourhood Cares

Neighbourhood Cares – pilot areas chosen

The Neighbourhood Cares Pilot will test new ways of working which are vital to the achievement of better outcomes and managing with a reduced budget for social care over the medium term.

The aim is to use the learning from the project to develop a new community- based model for delivering social work in Cambridgeshire.

This model of social work is informed by the latest thinking developed through the Council’s Transforming Lives Strategy and the successful Buurtzorg model of community health care in the Netherlands.

The Neighbourhood Cares Pilot will link closely with other community initiatives and local providers, helping to develop local solutions to need and build on the neighbourhood approach and natural community networks, assets and strengths.

The key outcomes we want to achieve are:

  • Shift as much resource as possible to the front line.
  • Free up staff to have more direct contact with the people we need them to work with, in the way recipients of services and we want them to work.
  • Improve the quality and continuity of the services develop networks of support around vulnerable adults that build on strengths and local community assets.
  • Generate capacity where we currently have capacity gaps, particularly in home care.
  • Reduce the cost of care (in the back office and in commissioned care).
  • Set ourselves up for the future – the learning from the pilot sites would then be the basis for the wider transformation of the whole system.

There will be two ‘test and learn’ Neighbourhood Cares Teams, in populations in the region of 10,000.  It is proposed that one pilot will be in an urban location and one in a rural location.

Summary of the process for reaching a decision on which communities to deliver the Neighbourhood Cares Pilots in:  

Consultation has taken place with key partners including NHS (CPFT, CCG and primary care), Voluntary Sector and the Older People’s Partnership Board. The delivery of a Neighbourhood Cares Pilot in Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire has been evaluated as not appropriate. This is due to a number of factors that include:

  • The challenge of recruiting and retaining staff in the current older people’s teams and services, due to the high cost of living.
  • The potential to destabilise the existing workforce.
  • That generally both these districts have the lowest deprivation income levels affecting older people.

The delivery of the Neighbourhood Cares pilot in the Fenland District has also been evaluated as not appropriate but for a number of different factors, the most significant being that Fenland District is considerably the least challenged area in the County in finding care and support for older people.

It was therefore concluded that the Neighbourhood Cares pilots should be delivered in communities in either Huntingdonshire and or East Cambridgeshire.

A list of the most suitable communities in East Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire were drawn up and presented to a multi-agency panel to evaluate and agree on a short list.

The panel concluded that the next step should be to approach the key partners and stakeholders in the panel’s final short list of the most appropriate communities, to ensure their sign up to working with the Neighbourhood Cares pilots.

Proposed pilots

The result of these discussions with key partners has been that St Ives and Soham are the two communities that the Neighbourhood Cares pilot will be delivered in.

The next step is to start the recruitment of the two teams of Neighbourhood Workers who will deliver the pilot in each community.

If you would like any further information of the Neighbourhood Cares pilots please contact 

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