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A vision for adult social care: Capable communities and active citizens

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    Department of Health
  • Published date:
    16 November 2010
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On Tuesday 16 November, the Care Services Minister Paul Burstow launched "A vision for adult social care: Capable communities and active citizens ". The Vision sets out how the Government wishes to see services delivered for people; a new direction for adult social care, putting personalised services and outcomes centre stage.

The Vision for a modern system of social care is built on seven principles:

  • Personalisation: individuals not institutions take control of their care. Personal budgets, preferably as direct payments, are provided to all eligible people. Information about care and support is available for all local people, regardless of whether or not they fund their own care.
  • Partnership: care and support delivered in a partnership between individuals, communities, the voluntary and private sectors, the NHS and councils - including wider support services, such as housing.
  • Plurality: the variety of people’s needs is matched by diverse service provision, with a broad market of high quality service providers.
  • Protection: there are sensible safeguards against the risk of abuse or neglect. Risk is no longer an excuse to limit people’s freedom.
  • Productivity: greater local accountability will drive improvements and innovation to deliver higher productivity and high quality care and support services. A focus on publishing information about agreed quality outcomes will support transparency and accountability.
  • People: we can draw on a workforce who can provide care and support with skill, compassion and imagination, and who are given the freedom and support to do so. We need the whole workforce, including care workers, nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and social workers, alongside carers and the people who use services, to lead the changes set out here.

Think Local, Act Personal

A partnership made up of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, the Local Government Association and the Department of Health, has produced a number of best practice papers to be read alongside the Vision. Four of these are available on the Department of Health website, with a further two available on other Consortium members websites. Each of these documents support the Partnership Agreement Think Local, Act Personal, the sector-wide statement of intent that makes the link between the government's new vision for social care and Putting People First and provides the way forward for personalisation and community-based support.

Best practice papers

Practical approaches to improving the lives of disabled and older people by building stronger communities

This briefing and its appendix:

  • sets out why building strong and resilient communities is a key component of social car transformation;
  • outlines approaches currently being developed by council with their public sector and community partners – in particualr those who have been part of the Building Community Capacity to Put People First project;
  • directs readers to useful materials and trails fothcoming forthcoming practical aids from the consortium.

Practical approaches to improving lives of disabled and older people through building stronger communities

This paper gives practical advice and examples on improving the lives of disabled and older people through building stronger communities. Social care transformation is not limited to personal budgets or even to public services targeted at people eligible for state support. It is also about how people help themselves and each other as individuals, in groups and communities and how they make best use of the resources available for all citizens in their area. This briefing sets out the arguments for building strong and resilient communities, including new evidence that it can save money.

Practical approaches to market and provider development

This briefing:

  • explores what is meant by market shaping and proposes a simple framework for understanding and planning market shaping activity
  • sets out a range of practical approaches that local authorities and their partners can take to shaping local markets of care and support
  • illustrates where innovative practice in market shaping and provider development is leading to real change
  • describes delivery mechanisms that enable greater flexibility and choice and control within commissioned services, and;
  • trails forthcoming materials and practical aids to be launched over the coming months by the consortium.

This paper is intended to support the wider application of best practice models and approaches by local commissioners and providers of social care in both the third and independent sectors and should be read alongside a series of papers developed by the National Market Development Forum that address some of these issues in greater detail.

Practical approaches to co-production

This document:

  • considers the policy context within which approaches to co-production are being developed, in particular, in the NHS White Paper, Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS, the proposed Public Health White Paper, A vision for adult social care: Capable communities and active citizens and the Partnership Agreement between government and the social care sector, Think Local, Act Personal.
  • explores what we mean by co-production – it looks at definitions of co-production within health and social care and the principles underpinning co-production.
  • highlights different approaches to involving people
  • summarises legal frameworks that support co-production, and
  • provides examples of where co-production has worked well at different
    levels of the social care system.

Productivity and personalisation

The Putting People First consortium has published a guide called Practical approaches to improving productivity through personalisation in adult social care. This paper suggests that self-directed support should be seen as a core part of the wider transformation process that aims to promote independence, extend choice, and offer cost effective solutions for people needing ongoing support. It emphasises the importance of developing efficient operating systems, and of streamlining the businesses processes associated with self-directed support.

Practical approaches to safeguarding and personalisation

This briefing paper sets out how personalisation of support and more effective safeguarding can be mutually supportive. It shows how self-directed support can help to prevent or reduce the risk of harm and abuse. It is not, primarily, about how councils and partner organisations should respond to abuse. Personalisation does not replace the need for adult safeguarding systems and procedures.

Personal budgets - checking the results

This paper considers emerging approaches to developing outcome-based performance measures within social care. It highlights and promotes sector-led developments in building an evidence base for the effectiveness of personal budgets that can be  harnessed and used to drive the future direction of local social care systems.

Enabling risk, ensuring safety - self-directed support and personal budgets

This report looks at some of the research and emerging principles and practice about risk enablement in the self-directed support and personal budget process. It also recognises the context of adult safeguarding. The report includes an overview of findings from some recent UK and international evidence relating to risk enablement and safeguarding in the context of self-directed support and personal budgets.

The aim is to build an evidence base drawn from both research and practice to indicate what could work to promote independence and control whilst ensuring safety. The aim is also to explore what research is beginning to say about overcoming some of the barriers to implementation and how people and organisations are beginning to approach the task in practice.

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