Monday 25th March 2013

As the Government prepares to publish its response to the Francis Report into events at mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, directors of adult social services have promised to play their part in addressing the issues highlighted in the report a report which must be considered not only beyond mid Staffs in the wider NHS but in relation to all health and social care services delivered in all settings right across the country, according to ADASS President Sarah Pickup.

The original report raised a wide range of concerns about patient care, safety and dignity and about the attitudes and approaches of managers and staff within the trust and there are a large number of detailed recommendations  which ADASS expects to be addressed in the Government response.

ADASS believe that it is evident that there are some immediate and clear areas that we should all consider relating to the dignity with which people are treated and the compassion with which they are cared for. Key to ensuring that care in all settings is the kind of care we would want for ourselves and our relatives is for organisations to listen to their staff and to the people who use services and their families.

ADASS agrees that listening to the concerns and the ideas of staff and the wishes and concerns of people who use services and their families - and taking action in response - is critical to ensuring ongoing quality of services and attitudes that support people's dignity and treat them with compassion.

The quest for excellent quality of care must be driven across all sectors. And must be everyone's responsibility, Mrs Pickup went on.

ADASS takes leadership of the social care sector, and the quality issues DASSs engage with, extremely seriously. The Association recognises that leadership at all levels of organisations is key to improvement. ADASS has recently taken action in a number of ways to improve transparency and accountability through:

* Publication of local accounts of practice

* The use of citizens own experiences to inform improvement

* Seeking to improve commissioning skills and standards

* Sharing best practice through the newly emerging sector-led improvement initiatives

Working with providers more effectively.

The Association is committed to working with and through its members to engage with our staff and other providers of care in the county to promote core values of care and compassion, and, through our engagement in the Health and Wellbeing Board and our role in commissioning Healthwatch, we will engage with NHS partners to support them in promoting the same core values throughout the Health and care sector . We also commit to working positively and transparently with the care Quality Commission in their regulation and inspection of care services and in ensuring that any new ratings system for care has at its heart the core values of dignity and compassion and a focus on quality care."

ENDS

For further information contact:
Sarah Pickup, ADASS President, 01992 556300
Drew Clode. ADASS Policy/Press Adviser, 020 8348 5023/07976 837755

A blog reflecting on Francis and written by ADASS Immediate Past President can be found at http://bit.ly/WDfdq5

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. Nearly a third of DASSs are also the statutory director of childrens services for their authority.

A personal budget is a clear, upfront amount of funding from adult social care which individuals can spend on the services and support they need to help them live more independently. It can be used to buy services from both the council and other providers, mixing and matching whats available from different organisations.

Anyone aged 18 or over who is eligible for social care support can have a personal budget - but it is down to individuals whether they manage their budget themselves or whether someone else does this on their behalf.

The Department of Health survey of adult social care 2010/2011 showed that:

* 62% of service users who responded said that they were extremely or very satisfied with the care and support services they receive.

*28% said they were quite satisfied, 7% said they were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied and the remaining 3% said they were dissatisfied.

*26% reported their quality of life was so good, it could not be better or very good.

* 31% reported it was good, and

*33% reported it was alright.

* 10% reported their quality of life was either bad, very bad or so bad it could not be worse

See full results here.