The County Councils Network (CCN) has revealed it is to launch a new project to examine the ‘key themes’ of social care reform.
The CCN said it would be teaming up with Newton Europe to explore these themes more deeply, drawing on the experience of local authorities delivering services on the ground and Newton’s expertise in the sector.
The project is due to report later in the autumn.
The announcement comes as the CCN publishes a short think piece, entitled The Other Side of the Coin, setting out the themes it believes should be at the heart of reform the adult social care.
The paper argues strongly that care should be kept local in any upcoming reform as councils have delivered quality services despite funding challenges and its links with other areas such as housing, public health, and children’s social care.
‘County authorities have been warning for several years that the adult social care system has been close to breaking point. Coronavirus has thrown into sharp focus the urgent need for reform of the system – a move which CCN and its member authorities would very much welcome,’ said CCN health and social care spokesman, Cllr David Fothergill.
‘However, any such reform must focus not on a narrow health-centric view of hospital discharges or care in residential homes but recognise the huge fabric of social care provision managed by local authorities – including for those of working age with chronic conditions or mental health issues.
‘Adult social care is, fundamentally, a local community service and any proposals for reform needs to consider the role local authorities have played in delivering quality care despite yearly funding reductions, rather than any knee-jerk moves towards centralisation. We therefore urge the Government to take on board the principles outlined in this paper so that county councils’ extensive experience of delivering adult social care is fully reflected in any future proposals for reform,’ added Cllr Fothergill.
Earlier this week, health minister Lord Bethell told the House of Lords that he could not commit to ‘a social care plan before the end of the year’, which prompted a stark warning from ADASS president, James Bullion.
‘The prospect of reform proposals was the promise that kept us all going,’ said Mr Bullion.
‘The ability to deal with the pandemic and to face what is likely to be the most difficult winter any of us have ever faced, has been bolstered by the expectation of a better future and the type of care that we all want for ourselves and our families. People are giving a lot to keep services going.’
Photo Credit – Geralt (Pixabay)