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Transforming Adult Social Care

2nd March 2015

Together with the County Councils Network (CCN), Capita has conducted a survey of CCN member councils to explore current thinking around Adult Social Care (ASC).

In autumn 2014 Capita, working with the County Councils Network (CCN), conducted a survey of CCN member councils to explore current thinking around Adult Social Care (ASC) in local government. The survey asked respondents to share their ‘personal views’ on the issues associated with Adult Social Care rather than any official ‘corporate’ view point.

The purpose of the survey was to explore respondents’ current thinking around the financial pressure that Adult Social Care has on local government budgets, seek out possible actions that could be taken to ease this pressure and look at any barriers that may prevent these solutions coming to fruition.

In the Transforming Adult Social Care report we describe the findings from our research and discuss their potential implications – both for the local government sector and for citizens – in light of the next decade’s anticipated ongoing financial challenges and the introduction of new healthcare policies such as the Care Act.

It is clear that policy makers see the ongoing integration of the health and social care services as the central foundation of sustainable care and support services. To get integration right, we need to fully understand the growing pressures and concerns from those engaged in service delivery on a day-by-day basis. It is only with this understanding that solid foundations can be built. Capita’s research, conducted with CCN members, is a useful guide to where exactly the pressures are building and how they can be addressed.

Cllr David Hodge CCN chairman, leader Surrey County Council

The findings of the report have both confirmed what we already knew and revealed some very interesting insights into what will work, and what will not help, as we work together to meet the challenges.

As we would expect, financial pressures are the single biggest concern. The introduction of the Care Act will add significant pressure to the system, and respondents indicated that the Better Care Fund, while welcome, will not address long-term funding concerns.

When it comes to potential solutions, results have been generated that should be of real use to those formulating national policy, including identifying which potential solutions are seen as most effective. Many respondents agree that the integration of health and social care and investment in demand management are now the most critical factors in meeting the financial challenge. Redesigning care pathways, promoting independence, and investing in community services are regarded as the future of a sustainable care and support system.

Most respondents saw a significant benefit in:

  • changing the care mix, for example reducing reliance on residential care by providing a lower cost package of care to help some people remain at home for longer
  • demand management, such as prevention, supporting self-management and possibly helping people to self fund for longer
  • more, and better, use of enablement.

When it came to other changes – such as efficiency, telecare, supply chain savings – support was more mixed, although there was a sense that these changes are already well progressed in some localities.

Chris Dobson, market director, Capita, said: Our conclusion from this work is that we face a delivery challenge, rather than a battle of ideas. Across the sector there is a good understanding of what is needed – but more varied progress in making it happen. Capita’s own analysis suggests that we should persevere and there is a big prize – for residents and for councils. We believe a new delivery model for Adult Social Care can achieve significant improvements in users’ experiences and outcomes, as well as 20-30% cost savings for local authorities.”

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