Pool NHS and social care cash to help boost individual social care budgets

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Date: Tuesday January 15, 2008
Embargo: 00.01 hrs, Wednesday January 16, 2008

Health and social care agencies must take 'bold measures' to redirect resources towards community-based services in order to promote health and wellbeing, according to Anne Williams, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.

She said: preventive care and care closer to peoples homes is often cost effective, and usually works better.  ADASS strongly believes that investment in prevention will help diminish the current high demand for acute and crisis-orientated services.  Ultimately we must diminish the requirement for costly acute hospital services - whether they relate to physical or mental ill health, she says.

In its submission to the review of the NHS led by Lord Darzi, ADASS warns that plans for improving the health services cannot succeed in isolation from the wider local government, community and independent sector services.

Mrs Williams stresses that ADASS is already engaged in work on personalised budgets and would welcome the opportunity to discuss the possibility of including NHS money in the pool of income streams that make up individual social care budgets.

Directors of adult social services, at the centre of local government and with wide responsibilities for care and wellbeing, are well placed to take a key role in this process.  Other key leaders are directors of children's services, directors of public health, PCT chief executives and local authority chief executives.

The ADASS submission reasserts the importance of the recently signed Concordat (See Notes for Editors, below) and concludes that the Association welcomes the review and fully endorses the vision of a future world class NHS and social care service that is fair, personalised, effective and safe.  We acknowledge that much work is already being done towards realising this vision, both within the NHS and Social Care.

ENDS

For further information contact:
Anne Williams, President, ADASS, 0161 973 2201
John Dixon, Vice-President, ADASS, 01243 777660
Drew Clode, ADASS Policy/Press Adviser, 020 8348 5023/07976 837755

Photos of Anne Williams and John Dixon available from Drew Clode

Copies of the full submission available from Drew Clode, or from www.adass.org.uk

NOTES FOR EDITORS

The Condcordat, Putting People First, was signed on December 10 2007, bringing together Central Government, Local Government, the professional leadership of Adult Social Care and the NHS in a joint commitment to transform care services radically.

It establishes the collaboration between central and local government, the sector's professional leadership, providers and the regulator. It sets out the shared aims and values which will guide the transformation of adult social care, and recognises that the sector will work across shared agendas with users and carers to transform people's experience of local support and services.

It outlines the vision that in future people should have maximum choice, control, and power over the support services they receive.  It is envisaged that in future people requiring social care services will increasingly design and commission their own services, through the use of individual budgets or direct payments.

Existing individual budget pilots pool income streams from several sources and provide users with a choice on how to receive their care packages.  It can be a cash direct payment, services commissioned by the local authority or broker who manage the budget on an individual's behalf, or a combination of both.

Direct payments provide individuals with a cash payment.  However they use only social care money.  ADASS strongly supports the view expressed in Lord Darzi's Interim Report that in future individual budgets for people with long term conditions could include NHS resources enabling individuals to commission alternative services to traditional NHS provision.  ADASS would welcome the opportunity to work with NHS colleagues to establish mechanisms for achieving this.

Other areas the ADASS submission focuses on include:

  • Joint commissioning
  • Strong local leadership
  • Investment in preventative and community based services
  • Increased focus on the management of long term conditions (LTC)
  • Expansion in the use of individual budgets and direct payments
  • Development of reablement, recovery and intermediate care services
  • Joint workforce planning to establish a well trained workforce with a shared value base
  • Accessibility/Transport
  • Developing a national strategy for mental health and well-being

ADASS believes that the Government and its partners should work together to develop a new ten-year, cross-government , national strategy for mental health and well-being.