'We will continue to speak out strongly on behalf of citizens'

 

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Date: Monday June 14, 2010
Embargo: 00.01 Hrs, Tuesday June 15, 2010

Four key priorities are highlighted in a major briefing document on adult social care, prepared and produced by ADASS, and distributed this week to all Members of Parliament and some 400 Peers with an interest in social care issues and partner organisations.

The briefing paper, Fit for the Future: Policy, Purpose and Progress in Adult Social Care, comes at a critical time given the future funding of public services and for adult social care services in particular.

 

In a letter written simultaneously to newly-appointed Care Minister Paul Burstow, ADASS President Richard Jones said: that although adult social services departments will make great strides to achieve efficiencies, they are unlikely to deliver the level of savings that are going to be required. ADASS will speak out strongly on behalf of citizens who need care and support if budget allocations prevent vulnerable people from getting the support they need."

In an introduction the ADASS President stresses four key priorities which the Association hopes government and Parliamentarians will urgently address if we are to deliver care and support services which citizens and communities need in the 21st century. He argues that we need to be:

  • BUILDING personalised services into the mainstream of the way the entire public sector does its work. In adult care we are learning that working with people as citizens and building on their strengths delivers better outcomes and better value. Supporting people to exercise choice and control really does make a difference to the outcomes they are able to achieve. he says.
     
  • FOCUSING on prevention. Promoting the wellbeing of individuals and those that care for them can reduce the demand for health and social care services and help people maintain their independence. Good information and advice and accessible support enables people to make good decisions and take responsibility for themselves.
     
  • ENSURING that outcomes are owned by communities and citizens. Richard Jones argues: We should be aiming to integrate services and deliver effective responses in the places we serve by pooling resources, working with community resources and being accountable together for the delivery of what local people and communities want.
     
  • DEVELOPING a new settlement for the future funding on care and support which delivers the capacity that is urgently  needed. A future model  should be easily understood by the public, be seen as fair, and reduce the level of unmet need and the worries people have about getting older.

The briefing notes, written by former ADASS assistant honorary secretary Jane Ashman, cover ten areas of long standing concern to the Association.
 
They are:
 
A Modern challenge: a modern solution
A sustainable solution to the funding of adult social care is needed and its needed now
 
Prevention: getting the most out of our resources
The most effective way of achieving better outcomes for lower costs
 
Helping people to live at home
 
Supporting people
Housing as the bedrock for most people particularly those who are vulnerable and isolated
 
Recognising the role of carers
Becoming a carer can have a significant impact on health, wellbeing and income levels
 
Supporting strong, confident families
Family carers across generations can be the keystone of strong  families
 
Workforce issues
Investing in qualified social workers means better outcomes for everyone
 
Choice, Control an Accountability
Ensuring people can be in control of their personal care budgets
 
Working together
With a wide range of partners, especially the NHS
 
Social care and the economy
The beneficial impact the care industry can have on local economies
 
As the briefing material was being distributed, Richard Jones said: It is vital that over the coming months and years we collectively take the right decisions to secure a future for social care which delivers positive outcomes for individuals and carers. It must promote personalisation, prevention and provide reassurance to anyone needing care and support that information, advice and a guaranteed level of support will be available to everyone.
 
These briefing papers have been created in the hope that they can help policy and decision makers, opinion formers and the wider public come to sensible and appropriate conclusions about the way forward.
 
ENDS
 
For further information contact:
Richard Jones, ADASS President, 01772 534390
Drew Clode, ADASS Policy/Press Adviser, 020 8348 5023/07976 837755
 
Pictures of Richard Jones available on request
 
Correspondents will be receiving copies of the briefing pack by post. 
 
 
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.