NHS White Paper: ADASS welcomes new responsibilities for local government and social care

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Date: Monday, July 12 2010
Embargo: Immediate

Directors of Adult social services have broadly welcomed the White Paper Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS announced by the Secretary of State today. According to ADASS President Richard Jones, "we will judge the White Paper proposals on their ability to deliver the following key priorities.

Will they

* BUILD personalisation and choice and control for individuals?
* SUPPORT collaborative working with the communities and places we serve?
* DELIVER improved outcomes for citizens?
* PROMOTE integration and build on what is working well?

He added: "The White Paper appears to be consistent with the idea of adult social care, public health and integrated health services sitting at the heart of local communities."

He stressed though, that although it sets out a new vision, "more is needed to describe a coherent view of the future for adult social care. We await two further White Papers on public health and social care. And we acknowledge that the Commission on Future Funding of adult social care, and the Law Commissions proposals for a new Statute remain key Government priorities.

"The White Paper sets out three roles for local government in relation to public health: leading needs assessments; promoting integration, and commissioning and partnership working. The fact that GP consortia will have a duty to work in partnership with local government is a positive measure. It will be critically important, though, to ensure that the changes being proposed dont lead to a fragmentation of the ways in which we use public money to improve outcomes."

Richard Jones emphasised that putting health back into the heart of local government is putting it back to where it always ought to have been focused. "Theres an awful lot to work to be got through between now and 2013 when the proposals are due to take effect," he said. "ADASS is determined to engage fully in shaping the detailed thinking and consultations that now need to take place in order to fulfil the promise that this White Paper has set out."

ENDS

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

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 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.

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.