The adult social care system is ‘unfit for purpose’ and ‘fundamentally broken’ a report has warned today. As the care bill returns to the House of Lords today for the report stage, the three authors of the paper, issued by the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City Council, call for a range of different measures following an in-depth study of adult social care provision by local authorities across England.
Professor Jon Glasby, director of the Health Services Management Centre, and lead author of the report, said: ‘Local authorities across the country are struggling to meet their responsibilities in a very difficult financial and policy context. With higher levels of need, higher public expectations and widespread cuts, the previous approach to adult social care feels fundamentally unfit for purpose.’
The policy paper, entitled Turning the welfare state upside down? Developing a new adult social care offer calls for a new approach to adult social care along with recognition that spending on adult social care is a form of investment that helps people be active citizens by supporting them to return to employment and can generate new businesses opportunities. It also calls for a closer relationship with the NHS so that public resources are used more effectively and the needs of people with complex needs are met in full and also a closer relationship between local and national government so that they see themselves as partners when trying to develop new approaches.
The report says: ‘For many commentators, the adult social care system is fundamentally broken. This is not the fault of current workers, managers or policy makers – but there is strong consensus that we still have a 1940’s system which is increasingly unfit for purpose in the early twenty-first century.’
Alongside professor Glasby, the other authors of the report are Robin Miller and Jennifer Lynch. It is based on a review of how local council websites frame what they do for local people, good practice examples and interviews with a series of national stakeholders. It’s aim was to produce a policy paper to guide local authorities thinking on the potential for a new adult social care for local people.
Professor Glasby said: ‘Rather than starting with deficits (things people can’t do for themselves), we need to start with social capital and community resources (things people can for themselves and others, and everyday solutions that make sense to them). In future, adult social care needs to adopt more of a community development approach – working with individuals, groups and communities to build capacity and helping people to find new ways to achieve chosen lifestyles.’
Source: Inside Housing
9th October 2013