A PILOT project to improve safety in care homes has been given a cash boost.

Closing the Gap hopes to reduce hospital admissions by preventing falls, catheter infections, pressure ulcers and similar issues from arising at care homes.

The Health Foundation has given the two-year pilot scheme, being run by Essex County Council in partnership with University College London Partners, £450,000.

It is the first time a social care organisation such as the county council has won funding from the foundation.

The pilot will run in north and west Essex before being rolled out to the rest of the county if successful.

John Aldridge, county councillor for adult social care, said: “It is fantastic to hear Essex is to receive funding from the Health Foundation, and even greater news this is going to help towards improving care and support for elderly and vulnerable care home residents.

“We hope to see this funding make a real difference to everyday care for the elderly and vulnerable.”