These top tips are produced to provide advice for Directors of Adult Social Care and their colleagues working in urgent care systems under pressure. In recent years the need to increase acute bed availability has sometimes led to NHS colleagues purchasing homecare and community beds at pace. There are safety, market, consumer, legal and human considerations for the DASS in this context. This document seeks to identify what the DASS should seek to be assured about in terms of those responsibilities.

“Home first” is the expectation nationally for people leaving acute hospital. Systems should plan ahead for winter, map additional capacity and demand ahead of time and commission effectively for the right outcomes for people. However, where demand exceeds availability this guide should prove helpful.

In any activity taken in escalation it is essential to keep the person and their significant others at the heart of everyone’s thinking. We must be focussed on ensuring that they are kept informed of what is happening, why, what that means, what will happen next, what they will have to pay and who to contact if they have any questions. Information and advice should conform with the Competition and Markets Authority consumer advice. We must also provide this in writing. People’s needs and outcomes must remain the main focus in everything we do.

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