ADASS: Getting Fit for the Future

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Date: Monday, July 26 2010
Embargo: Immediate

Adult Social Services Directors are streamlining the way they organise their professional association in order the better to face some of the challenges bearing in on the adult social care sector.

Following a special meeting of its executive council in Birmingham, the publication of the Governments White Paper on the NHS*, and the prospect of further major policy announcements during the rest of this year and beyond, ADASS has created six new special, task-oriented programme boards, each chaired by a senior officer.

According to President Richard Jones: These new, single-purpose programme boards will enable our Association to have maximum flexibility in responding to the efficiency gauntlet which has been thrown down by the Coalition, as well as enable us to take advantage of all the many opportunities to improve the offer we make to the people in our communities.

Integration with a newly-reconfigured health services is clearly going to be a major way in which services for older people and people with disabilities and mental health issues will be improved in the coming years. Directors of adult social services are going to be very much up for making sure that the people for whom we have responsibilities get the maximum benefit from the changes already under way.

The six new programme boards are:

  • Vision development Board:

Developing a vision for adult social care for the next 3-5 years. ADASS, with sector partners,  will lead a group whose task will be to define a vision for the future of adult social care, building on sector-led leadership of the current transformation programme. The group, which will include Jeff Jerome, the National Director for Social Care Transformation will set out what `good will look like as we move beyond Putting People First in terms of outcomes for citizens and communities, building on the work to date on personalisation, prevention and protection.

The report is to be available in September 2010 for discussion with the Minister for Care Services, to be developed further for launch at the National Conference in November 2010.

  • Integration Board:

The integration Board will set out opportunities and possible models for effectively linking adult social care, local government, the development of area-based budgeting and agreed citizen and community outcomes with the changing landscape of an independent NHS Board and GP consortia/commissioning. It will develop the case for integration of commissioning with the White Paper proposals.

It will establish a short-life working group to explore existing models and develop a framework to support local developments. The work will link to emerging work with the NHS Confederation and build an interface with the NHS Alliance, linking to action with LGA and IDeA.

The overall timeframe will be over the next 912 months, though initial thinking will be reported the ADASS general meeting in November and a directors seminar in February 2011.

  • Big Society, Care and Support Board

Objectives will be to share learning around what is working in relation to Big Society initiatives and community support in different places, and to identify how community support is best mobilised and supported, exploring the link between active citizens and strong communities.

The Board will be asked to develop links with DH work on social capital and to establish a short life working group to identify leading edge practice and the evidence base for community engagement.

It should report by early 2011

  • Resource Reduction Board

Tasked to identify current best practice in relation to getting best use from delivering resources. To support the work of the Resources Committee in preparing for the forthcoming Spending Review and supporting directors of adult social services in the budget setting process for 2011. It will also be required to develop specific work around simplifying and taking costs and complexity out of the social work/care processes.

To provide additional support and capacity to the ADASS Resources Network and establish a subgroup to review existing responses to re-engineering care processes. It will be asked to link with the Efficiency Board being initiated by the Department of Health. The Best Practice and Lean Process models to be ready to share by November this year, with possible feed into the National Conference in November.

  • Improvement Board

This Board will work with the Improvement and Development Agency, the LGA and Department of Communities and Local Government to build an approach to sector-led improvement, inspection and support.

  • Long Term Care Commission Board

To be able to inform and contribute to the thinking of the Commission and respond to requests for engagement around interim findings.

Other issues to be developed further include working on the next proposals from the Law Commission in its review of adult care law, and supporting joint work with LGA on preparing elected members for the financial challenges ahead.

For further information contact:
Richard Jones, ADASS President, 01772 534390;
Drew Clode, ADASS Policy/Press Adviser, 020 8348 5023/07976 837755

To read Richard Jones July blog dealing with current challenges, go to:
http://www.adass.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=594:july-2010&catid=85:presidents-blog&Itemid=198

To read the ADASS June publication Fit for the Future: Policy, Purpose and Progress in Adult Social Care go to:
http://www.adass.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=471&Itemid=377

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) represents directors of adult social services in local authorities in England. DASSs have statutory responsibilities for the social care of older people and adults with disabilities, while over 50 per cent also run social housing departments. ADASS members might also share a number of responsibilities for the provision and/or commissioning of housing, leisure, library, culture and arts services within their councils.

`Personalisation' is a term used to describe a number of ways in which vulnerable adults and their carers can receive a mixture of local authority and government money in order to pay directly for the care services they need without direct social services involvement.

They will be helped in making an assessment of their needs and finances by social workers who will also involve and consider the needs and availability of carers. Any contractual agreement is therefore between the individual and the care worker or operator.

The government has urged local authorities to prioritise the roll-out of individual budgets. A National Director for Social Care Transformation was appointed in September 2008 to contribute to the development of personalised services.