PRAISE FOR THE performance of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as well as a determination to ensure front line staff get better co-production and recognition for their dedicated work marked ADASS President Ray James’ speech to delegates at the annual National Adults and Children’s Care conference in Bournemouth today.

At the same time he reminded central government, in the midst of its 2015 Spending Review, that only recently ADASS joined leading representatives of major charities, care providers and the NHS to publish a joint submission to the spending review – a `chorus of voices speaking with unprecedented unanimity’ across the sector telling  government of the unquestionable need for a fair and sustainable funding settlement for adult social care.

Imploring the Chancellor “to do the right thing and give us a clean settlement to provide for both the growing funding gap for social care and the true cost of the living wage,” he warned of what will happen if he doesn’t.

“The consequences are plain. Increased pressure on the NHS; investors looking elsewhere; more care providers exiting the market, and ultimately the safety and wellbeing of growing numbers of people who rely on social care being put at grave risk.”

Elsewhere he threw out a challenge to colleagues to follow on with the successes of Making Safeguarding Personal. “This national best practice model with independent evaluation and accreditation has been co-produced and championed by leading experts and those who have experience abuse. If you are not actively working hard on this, what are you waiting for,” he said

Concerning the CQC he acknowledged that regulators are rarely popular. Yet even by that standard the organisation required improvement in the wake of the events of a few years ago. While colleagues will acknowledge that their efforts are not yet as consistently applied as all would hope, they offer an example to many of us.

* A commitment to meaningful coproduction; authentic, values-based leadership epitomised in Andrea Sutcliffe’s `Mums’ Test’,

* More robust inspection findings that we can increasingly rely on, and

* Perhaps most notably of all - growing numbers of dedicated staff now proud to say they work for the CQC. 

More broadly, Mr James stressed the importance of integration, devolution and personalisation as three of the key developments which will dominate social care in the coming five years, and had a special word for:

* The workforce

He stressed his determination to play his part in ensuring that front-line social care staff get better recognition, and ‘unashamedly’ asked for delegates’ help in achieving that aim. “Ultimately the quality of people’s lives will be determined by our ability to attract people with the right skills and behaviour into social care.”

* Carers

“As Jeremy Hunt said in his speech to the LGA conference in Harrogate, it needs to become as natural to have a conversation with your employer about caring responsibilities for older parents as it is about child care.”

 *Mental Health

“We should reflect on our efforts to promote better emotional wellbeing for all, especially children and young people, and on what more we can do to support recovery and inclusion – again, the small things, like taking the time to listen - can make a big difference.”

On Winterbourne View and its aftermath, he said that in many parts of the country there has been insufficient progress. “I ask all of you to satisfy yourselves that all that can be done is being done, in your localities to transform the opportunities available for this group of people. We will continue to work with NHS colleagues on the national enablers, to remove barriers and spread good practice.”

ENDS

For further information contact

Ray James, 020 8379 4160

Drew Clode, 020 8348 5023 mob: 07976 837755

Editorial Notes

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) represents directors and senior managers of adult social services departments in English local authorities. Directors (DASSs) have statutory responsibilities for the social care of older people, adults with disabilities and adults with mental health needs.

In many authorities ADASS members will also share a number of responsibilities for the provision and/or commissioning of housing, leisure, libraries, culture, and community safety on behalf of their councils. More than a third of DASSs are also the statutory director of children’s services for their authority.