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Care project brings patients ‘closer to home’

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Finance and Government Business Minister Jane Hutt

A MENTAL health rehabilitation and recovery project in Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion has brought mental health patients closer to home and saved the local health board more than £500,000 per annum, the Finance Minister said today (Oct 7). The scheme is being highlighted as one of many Invest to Save schemes that has helped deliver better front-line services to people and save the public sector money. Finance and Government Business Minister Jane Hutt has today launched the next round of Invest to Save funding with over £20m available for new investments in 2015-16.

The successful fund helps public sector organisations deliver improvements to front-line services across Wales and generate cash efficiency savings. Since the fund was launched in 2009, the total value of investments made by the Fund stands at almost £100m, benefitting 94 projects. Jane Hutt said: “This fund is a major success story for Wales through projects like the Mid and West Wales Mental Health Rehabilitation and Recovery Reconfiguration. Independent research has shown that the fund delivers a gross return of £3 for every £1 invested and is helping organisations across Wales to deliver vital improvements to public services across all areas of the public sector. “That is why we are investing over £20m in 2015-16 so that organisations can continue to achieve their ambition of releasing savings and improving services.

In a time of scarce funds, organisations need to work together to become more resourceful. The Invest to Save Fund will play a key role in assisting to address the financial and effective service delivery challenges we all face.” The mental health project built on work developed by Hywel Dda Local Health Board to focus on delivering care “closer to home” and return people with mental health issues from high cost placements outside of their local area.

Some were being treated in England. As a result of the Invest to Save Funding, building on an existing platform and intervention model, the project received a significant boost allowing it to decommission a longterm rehabilitation ward deemed unfit for purpose and invest the savings to deliver a range of actions including: The growth of accommodation to support repatriation of out-of-area parents;

Development of local mental health services including alternatives to inpatient care such as a therapeutic day service and crisis accommodations options; Considering options for older adults and community provision; and, Opening of a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit and Acute “Assess to Admit” Unit in 2012. The £564,000 “pump-priming” Invest to Save project, which helped improve mental health services in Mid and West Wales, ran from 2010-13 and resulted in 30 people being “brought home” for their care, where they were nearer their families.

The savings in travel costs and time were re-invested into core service budgets including investment in staff and the creation of more bed spaces. Additional benefits were reduced length of stay as a result of patients being close to home and family and providing a Welsh language environment. The Invest to Save part of the £2m service helped generate annual savings from 2010-11 of £541,000. Jane Hutt said: “The Mental Health Rehabilitation and Recovery Reconfiguration project is a great example of how Invest to Save Funding can drive efficiency savings and improve services. I encourage public sector organisations to find out more and bid for the new round of investment.” Applications for the 2014 bidding round have been opened and expressions of interest are sought by 7 January.

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Community

New Children’s Book based on local fisherman

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CHILDREN’S AUTHOR Natalie L Davies has written a story based on local man, Mickey Beechey, of Llangrannog.

The book is available on Amazon.

Natalie said: “I’ve written a series of children’s books with the central character, the lovely ‘Mickey the Fisherman’. The first book is called ‘Pollution’, and is a bright colourful and fun book with a valuable message.”

The book is available to buy on Amazon in both paperback and kindle, and can be found at: mybook.to/mickeythefisherman.

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Community

Council supports the Learning Disabilities ‘My Charter’

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CABINET members and senior officers in Ceredigion have signed ‘My Charter’. In doing so, Ceredigion County Council have become the first council to sign up to the charter. My Charter was written by people who have learning disabilities in West Wales.

The charter says that people who have learning disabilities want to have more chances in life, more choice and to be listened to. It also says that people who have learning disabilities want to be treated as adults, to be given dignity and respect and that their information is kept private.

Councillor Alun Williams is the Cabinet member responsible for Adult Services. He said: “People with learning disabilities have the same aspirations, hopes and feelings as everyone else. They deserve the same services and to be treated equally in a way that’s appropriate to their needs. I’m delighted that Ceredigion has become the first council to sign the charter, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this can positively influence the way our population of people with learning disabilities are treated in the future.”

The charter was developed by people who have learning disabilities from across Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire.

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Community

Ceredigion Leisure Centres Summer holiday programme

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A BUSY TIMETABLE of inclusive summer holiday activities for children has been organised across all Ceredigion County Council-run leisure centres in the county.

From football to bouncy castle sessions, from cycling skills to archery, there’s a wide variety of activities to choose from over the course of the summer.

There will also be day camps and multi-skills activity days available at some of the leisure centres, for children to attend for the whole day. There’s even a day trip to the beach with Teifi Leisure Centre!

A range of learning to swim programmes are available at Lampeter Swimming Pool and Plascrug Leisure Centre across the summer holidays. A week of swimming lessons will be delivered solely through the medium of Welsh in Plascrug Leisure Centre starting on 5 August.

Councillor Catrin Miles is the council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for Leisure Services. She said: “Ceredigion Actif is once again providing a busy timetable of fun activities during the summer. It’s a healthy and worthwhile way for children to spend their time during the summer.”

Booking for sessions is essential and staff at leisure centres reserve the right to cancel any session if attendance is too low.

For further information on the summer holiday activities planned, visit the Ceredigion Actif website.

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