Reform of adult social care is now flashing ‘urgent’
The recent report by Localis on health and social care integration has shone a light on the urgent work needed to reform local care service.
The debate continues about integrated structures with health and how the sector will continue over the next year, but a key message for councils is that a more ambitious reform of adult social care is badly needed – we cannot rely on ‘integration’ as a cure all.
The challenges are serious, and include:
- Replacing outdated technology with modern, digital services
- Investing in early intervention and prevention
- Supporting and motivating the care workforce
- Increasing the level of independence for adults with learning disabilities
- Reshaping the pathways between hospital discharge and social care at home
- Buying better from a care market that is under huge pressure
- Using assets better to reduce the cost of long term care.
Councils could rethink the level of priority and investment they are giving these issues. As we showed with one of our council partners, where we created £7m of benefit by investing in technology, bold steps can deliver big results. We would like to work with councils, to co-invest in a better future for social care, helping them to stop and think about whether their plans are strong enough to deliver the sustainable services we will need in an era of longer lives and more reliance on social care. Real reform of adult social care has never been more urgent than now.