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Connect Programme



Essex County Council and system partners have committed to transforming services for older people through better connections to the right support in hospital and at home. This is in response to an in-depth diagnostic which highlighted that whist we give thousands of people great care every day, sometimes people find themselves with the wrong kind of support, are admitted to hospital when there could be alternatives, or their temporary support/stay in hospital is longer than we - and they - would have hoped.

The programme, called Connect, is now in an exciting design phase which will define what needs to change and how, through five inter-related projects, all focussed on delivering the best (safest and most independent) outcomes for older people:

  1. Using reablement services to their full potential
  2. Supporting independence through social care services in the community and after discharge from hospital
  3. Better outcomes for those discharged from hospital
  4. The right support, recovery and time at community hospitals
  5. Avoiding unnecessary admissions to hospital

Already, over 60 frontline colleagues and managers are involved in co-designing new ways of working. These approaches will then be rapidly tested and further developed, using robust evidence, data and insights so that we can accurately understand what improvements will have the biggest impact on people's lives and transform the experience for people, carers and staff.

Whilst the work is focussed on long- term sustainable change, in response to current system pressures, we are accelerating parts of the work that directly help health and care teams to help those that need it most. For example, work that frees-up hospital beds or creates more capacity in the system. In addition, given the strong focus on data and evidence, through the programme, there is now better visibility of system capacity than ever before. The team is providing additional support in this area, as the situation develops. 

Later this year, teams across the county will take what pilot teams have learnt on three of these projects (Supporting Independence, Discharge Outcomes and Reablement) and adapt them to suit their local area, ahead of county-wide adoption. Two more projects are being delivered across Mid and South Essex, in conjunction with our health partners: Admission Avoidance and Community Hospital Flow.


May update: Preparing for Go Live 24th May. New Discharge Process from Reablement to Ongoing Care

We are preparing to go live with a trial of the new process design for discharge from ECL in the Mid quadrant.  The new process will realign the key stages (Adult social care assessment and sourcing) from running in series to running concurrently.  Therefore, from 24th May in Mid, domiciliary care providers will see three key changes for packages being sourced, where the individual is in receipt of a reablement service from ECL:

  1. You will receive an ECL "Progression review" as an ISP (instead of the ISP paperwork produced following the care act assessment).
  2. An ASC Social Worker will be involved in the case whilst the individual starts their package of care with you.
  3. Shortly after the package commences you will receive the ISP paperwork, as a result of the completion of the care act assessment.  This may also include a change to the hours of delivery, or the needs assessed of the individual.

During the trial we will be closely monitoring the new ways of working and will be encouraging feedback from providers via a feedback loop, further information on this will be shared with Mid providers prior to go live.

We are really looking forward to working with providers on this trial which aims to support more adults being able to benefit from reablement each year.


Update March 2021: Discharge Process from Reablement to Ongoing Care

We have now finalised the options appraisal that was looking at the discharge process from reablement to ongoing care.  This has identified that option 2 - referral Direct from ECL to SPT - will provide the biggest benefits and opportunities to ensure as many people as possible are able to access reablement.  Our workshop (in February) identified that for ongoing care providers this is likely to change the information that is shared with you prior to sourcing and may result in a small number of package changes early on in the delivery of care. 

Over the next few weeks/months we will be working on the detail of what this pathway will look like, and to better understand the changes and the impact of these changes on the whole system, including domiciliary care providers.  We aim to start a trial of the new process in the Mid quadrant during May and then to adopt across the other areas during the summer. 

We expect to share more detail with you on the process and what this will mean for you as a domiciliary care provider during April.  In the meantime we intend to work with ECA and a small group of providers to work through the detail to ensure the provider perspective is considered within the design.  If you have any questions or comments please contact


Workshop on Discharge Process from Reablement to Ongoing Care

Thank you to those who were able to attend the market engagement workshop on Friday 12 February 2021 to discuss the discharge process from reablement. The aims of this workshop were to increase awareness and understanding of Connect, identify areas of opportunity and potential risks for providers in redesigning the discharge process to ongoing care. Please see the summary of the feedback and insight gathered in this session. If you have any further questions or comments please do not hesitate to get in touch with Sarah Collins by email to



Last Updated: 14 May 2021

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