Book News: January 10th, 2008

This document sets out a vision for major reform of the adult social care system. It presents a shared vision and commitment to the transformation of adult services. The ultimate goal is that every locality will have a single community based support system focused on the health and wellbeing of the local population. This will involve bringing together local Government, primary care, community based health provision, public health and social care. It will also require the joining up of the wider issues of housing, employment, benefits advice and education and training.

This protocol describes the Government’s commitment to independent living for all adults. It also outlines the shared aims and values, which will guide the transformation of adult social care. It is unique in establishing a collaborative approach between central and local Government, the sector’s professional leadership, providers and the regulator. It seeks to be the first public service reform programme which is co-produced, co-developed, co-evaluated and recognises that real change will only be achieved through the participation of users and carers at every stage. It recognises that sustainable and meaningful change depends significantly on empowering people who use services and to win the hearts and minds of all stakeholders’, especially front line staff.

Local government will need to spend some existing resources differently and the Government will provide specific funding to support system-wide transformation through the Social Care Reform Grant, in line with agreements on new burdens. Some of the reforms can be made within the parameters of the local adult social care policies. Others require adult social care to take a leadership role within local authorities, across public services and in local communities.

This will not require structural changes, but organizations coming together to re-design local systems around the needs of citizens. The new local performance framework, which covers the delivery of all services by local government working alone or in partnership, will help to create an improved approach to local partnership, enabling local authorities and partners to work together to lead their area and better meet the public’s needs.

The transformation of adult social care will be delivered through the new performance framework, and will draw on new mechanisms within the framework, such as the new statutory requirement on local authorities and PCTs to undertake a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment, to ensure that the transformation process really delivers on the challenges for each local area.

The document is available from the Department of Health.