Coalition proposals: ADASS 'up for the challenge'

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Date: Friday, May 20 2010
Embargo: Immediate

Social Services Directors in England have given a positive welcome to proposals for adult social care set out in todays announcement by the Coalition Government. According to ADASS President Richard Jones, we are pleased that the issue of a settlement for the future funding of long term care has been picked up as a priority by the new government based on an approach which builds on prevention across health and social care and personalisation for individuals and carers.

Acknowledging that 'a lot of flesh was still waiting to be put on the bones, he welcomed the announcement that a new Commission on long term care for older people will be tasked with reporting within a year. We shall, of course, await the terms of reference with interest, he said, but a clear timetable is good news, and we shall be happy to play our part in discussing the options that will arise.

He also agreed with the Governments decision not to commence the provisions in the Personal Care at Home Act, 2010 relating to free personal care outside of a comprehensive settlement. However, he said the government was right to be reconsidering parts of the legislation which dealt with reablement and carers' breaks, given the importance of promoting people's independence and more effectively supporting carers.

He also welcomed the Coalitions focus on prevention by 'breaking down the barriers between health and social care funding in order to build integrated responses to people's needs making the best use of public resources. This is a substantial recognition of ADASS policy, he said.

He was also pleased at the governments continued commitment to Putting People First and personalisation. ADASS will want to work with others in developing a picture of what success might look like as we extend personalisation over the next few years.

Other issues which ADASS supported in the governments proposals include:

  • Breaking down the barriers between health and social care funding
  • Enhancing the role of local authorities on Primary Care Trusts, and their responsibilities for public health,
  • Improving the NHSs `best practice in the discharge of older people from hospital, as well as helping them live at home longer through the provision of home adaptations and community support programmes.

He said that these and other policy directions for older people and people with mental health issues and learning disabilities were refreshing signs that many of the ideas and suggestions put forward by ADASS and its partners over the past three years have borne fruit.

He added: Theres a long way to go. We know that resources are tight and will becoming very challenging in the coming months and during the next CSR. And we know we shall have to hone our skills in finding out ways of doing more with less as well as doing different things for less.

But developing our work more closely with the NHS, on behalf of our local citizens who are clearly going to have more control over their services individually and collectively, is a challenge directors of adult social services are very much up for.

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

Pictures of Richard Jones available on request.

NOTES FOR EDITORS

'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 informal carers. Any contractual agreement is therefore between the individual and the care
worker or operator.

Local authorities are prioritising 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.