Day 3 commenced at 08:00 with our final breakfast session of Spring Seminar 2019 which focused on Liberty Protection Safeguards – The Replacement for DoLS. Stephen Chandler, policy lead for Mental Capacity Act, DoLS and LPS, led the session, during which Ed Moses from DHSC gave a summary of the journey to this point and an overview of the proposed scheme.  Royal Assent is expected within the next month, with a “go-live” date anticipated in 2020 (exact date to be confirmed). Hilary Paxton, from the ADASS staff team, who is working with DHSC on the Code of Practice, gave a presentation on how the scheme would affect local authorities and a summary of the current position with the development of the Code of Practice, the impact assessment and implementation planning. Directors were thanked for the contribution of local authority staff to the work on the Code and invited to contribute their views on both the impact assessment and on what would help them with their implementation planning. Further comments are welcome and should be forwarded to the ADASS team for collating and sharing with DHSC.

The first plenary session of the day focused on the social care market today and for the future – ensuring quality and sustainability. Presenters noted the improvements seen in quality over the last year however highlighted the continued fragility of the market. All noted the importance of working as a system to drive up quality. Bev Maybury, Strategic Director for Health & Wellbeing at City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council highlighted the work undertaken in Yorkshire and Humber in relation to managing on a regional footprint the market. It was a thought-provoking session and left us wanting to hear more.

The next plenary session focused on the role of modern social work in improving mental health services. Stephen Chandler opened the session emphasising the value and diversity of relationships. Lyn Romeo then highlighted the continued value that mental health social workers add to the system regardless of whether they are in or out of a section 75 agreement. Delegates were also encouraged to look at the analysis of mental health services that has been undertaken by NHS benchmarking network. The session concluded with Stephen asking us all to find a mental health social worker and thank them for all their invaluable contributions.

The final plenary session of this exceptional Spring Seminar focused on why no Government has yet got to grips with Social Care. Bob Hudson gave an overview of history of the how social care has been funded and delivered. Bob also noted that most policies in whole or in part fail due to four key reasons. Sarah Pickup then took us through the difficult decisions that need to be made to ensure financial sustainability of social care. Sarah also noted that successive governments have attempted to try and deal with this issue. What we didn’t get, however was a confirmed date for the publication of the much-anticipated Green Paper.

Summarising up – James highlighted the following points:

  • What an excellent three days we have experienced with exceptional and thought-provoking sessions
  • The decision to open the Seminar with presentations from Clement, Emily and PSWs – grounded us for the rest of the seminar
  • Good to explore various care models and note the improvements made in the quality of care markets
  • Sign of confidence that we could discuss the wicked issues in a frank and constructive manner
  • Transparency looking at resources
  • Respect paid to us by NHSE for the work we are doing with a clear offer to continue to work in partnership over the coming years
  • Regional workshops were an excellent idea – showcased transformation and improvement
  • Still at crossroads – with more work to be done
  • Last time we met the fragile nature of the market was emphasised through the Allied situation. Unfortunately, this was again highlighted with the announcement that Four Seasons had gone into administration 
  • Need to continue the listening behaviour evident throughout the three days
  • Welcomed PSWs into the Association at the AGM
  • Farewells and welcomes
  • What an amazing three days. Look forward to seeing you all next year