Councils and health organisations across south Essex have come together to prepare for a future which will see increasing demands on services.
Over the coming decades the ratio of working people to retired people will drop from 4:1 to 2:1; there will be significantly more people with dementia who will need support; and there will be significantly higher numbers of very elderly people living longer.
The first hearing of the South Essex Commission of Enquiry into Co-operation between housing, health and social care took place on Friday, 17 September at the Wat Tyler conference centre in Pitsea. It was hosted by Cllr Andrew Baggott, lead member for Communities, Basildon Council, and was chaired by Lorna Payne, Corporate Director, Community Well-being, Thurrock Council.
Ms Payne said: “We know we will have less public funds to provide services to meet these needs in the future. We need better community-based solutions to help people avoid crisis and lead better quality lives in their own homes and neighbourhoods.
“And, as public services, we need to work more closely together.”
She added: “For this reason, the public services across the South Essex sub region – Essex, Basildon, Rochford, Castle Point, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock councils along with NHS South West Essex and South East Essex have come together to examine how our housing, health and social care services work together.
“We want to look at ways of working with our communities more effectively and harnessing all our resources more efficiently. We recognise we don’t have all the answers and that the problems facing us require the wisdom, creativity and innovation of the whole community.”