Better health, better lives

There are a lot more of us living in the Bradford District these days.

By 2020 there’ll be another 20,000 of us, including 4,000 more children and young people under 16. There’ll be 7,000 more people of working age.

The biggest and fastest increase will be among people aged over 65 – another 9,000 including another 2,000 people over 85 than there are now.

It’s great that people are leading healthier lives and living longer and we want everyone to be able to enjoy good health and a good quality of life whatever age they are. We can only try to ensure that people enjoy better health and better lives if we all work with each other – the Council and public services, local people, communities and business – to change the way things are done.

More people can place more demand on public services. Government cuts mean that Bradford Council, like all local authorities, has to reduce spending, and so do other public services which are all under pressure because of extra demand and tight budgets.

Between now and 2020 the Council will need to find between £125 million and £130 million to balance the books - that's over 30% of its current net budget and is on top of the £172.6 million savings already made.

Right now the Council spends more money helping adults who need care than it does on anything else – over £122.4 million or 31% of our total budget. Since 2010 we’ve invested more than £20 million extra in care services just to keep pace with increasing numbers of people who need services. But with less money, local services can’t do all the things people have become used to them doing and more and more we will have to provide services only to the people who need them the most.

We need to agree a new deal between public services and the people who live and work in the district.

Together we face some big challenges and it will take the energy, efforts and resources of us all to meet them. Organisations across the district have committed to work together to deliver services and work in a way that promotes what people can and want to do.

Promoting greater independence of people

A person’s needs now are not necessarily the same as they once were, nor will they stay the same in future – so the care they receive, what they pay and their degree of independence may change. It’s not desirable for people simply to carry on receiving care services regardless of any changes in their needs and we need to help people to help themselves rather than do everything for them.

  • Helping people to stay independent for longer is likely to mean greater use of technology and equipment to help people stay at home. This will help to reduce the numbers of carers and the number of hours of support that they need 
  • Support might not always come from the Council – people will be supported by different organisations, their families, neighbours or their communities to retain their independence. They will have the ability to choose, or be supported to choose, which organisation is best placed to offer the support they need 
  • Carers will be assisted in accessing services to help them remain independent by utilising the diverse resources of many organisations across the district

For example, Connect to Support is a marketplace to buy your own support whether this is equipment to assist you, looking for assistance in your home or even a directory of care homes should you or someone you know require this. It also has a directory of voluntary support groups and services including social clubs within the district.

Making positive lifestyle choices and changes

  • Staying fit and healthy benefits individuals and reduces demand for expensive health and care services. People will be encouraged to take advantage of the wide range of sport and leisure activities in the district 
  • People will be encouraged to take greater responsibility for their situation through a range of publicity, events and information about how they can help themselves. 
  • People will be supported by the diverse range of organisations in the district to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing 
  • This self care could be through lifestyle and behaviour changes, or treating minor ailments

Communities working actively together

  • Communities will be supported to work together to ensure that everyone gets the help and support that they really need to live a better life, which may not all be from public services 
  • People from all walks of life can really benefit from getting involved in volunteering in the district. This can improve health and wellbeing and people will be signposted to existing volunteering opportunities 
  • Keep an eye out for people in your neighbourhood and learn to spot the signs of someone who might need some help with everyday jobs or may need company 
  • Being active in the community has lots of benefits to your wellbeing

For more information about volunteering check out Volunteering Bradford or Keighley and District Volunteer Centre.


  • People can remain independent through the greater use of technology and equipment. For example, care homes across the district are piloting the use of skype and facetime for GP and pharmacy consultations 
  • Mobile applications can enable people to take control of their healthcare, directly providing accurate and current information and advice to people in the district

Services are changing

  • Some services may have to be delivered from different buildings or areas to save on running costs. Professional health and care expertise may be retained, but people may need to travel to access it 
  • How the Council and partner organisations commission services will focus on results – if these aren’t being delivered, things will change and people who use services will be part of the change 
  • Organisations will begin to work with people who use services on an equal footing, starting with what they want to achieve and how 
  • As a result of looking again at the Council services a person receives, those could change. This may mean that people who can afford to pay for services make a financial contribution or increase their existing contribution 
  • Public services will offer a standard range to the citizens in the district. If people want more than the standard offer, they will need to pay for this 
  • Health and care services will need to work much more closely together as part of the same system, keeping people out of expensive hospital and nursing care and helping them to recover after hospital stays 
  • We may have to target resources where they make the most difference and at people with the most complex needs

Healthy homes

  • Where people live is very important and has an impact on people’s health and wellbeing. The Council and its partners will work together with home owners and landlords to ensure the quality of housing in the district is of a good standard 
  • People will be supported to maintain and run a healthy home and reduce common risks and hazards to support better health and better lives

Growing demand

One in ten people provide some degree of unpaid care and 12,400 older people need assistance in maintained daily living. Another 8,200 people need help with one or more activities of daily living and 1,940 are supported to live in residential or nursing homes.

By the end of this financial year it is forecast that the Council will have provided around 1,500 hours a week more home care than it did in the previous year.

The Council currently supports 107 people with complex and high cost needs at a weekly cost of over £164,000, over £8.5 million a year.

By 2020:

  • The numbers of people over 65 who have dementia will increase by 750 or 14% 
  • The numbers of people aged over 85 will increase by 2,000 or nearly 20% 
  • The numbers of adults with a disability or mental health issue will increase 
    • nearly 3,000 more people with a physical disability 
    • a rise of 3% in the number of adults with a learning disability 
    • over 3,000 more people with mental health problems
  • The numbers of people with severe disabilities are also predicted to rise

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