27/03/2012 - Permalink

Next steps in adult social care

Related topics: Community / Health

A public consultation event will take place in Oswestry next week on supporting people to use personal budgets to choose which adult social care services best suit their needs, focusing on this approach in daytime support. 

Consultation is currently taking place and as part of the range of activities, people have been urged to come along to one of three public events.  Two have taken place, in Shrewsbury and Ludlow, and the third will be held at the Council Chamber, Oswestry area council headquarters, Castle View, on Monday 16 April 2012, from 10.30am to 12pm. 

People are being encouraged to share their thoughts on the development of more personalised, varied services, including helping all people who are eligible for social care support to use personal budgets.  Personal budgets allow people to take greater control over their services, by choosing what they want to spend their money on, based on what will meet their needs. 

As part of this approach, the council also wants to hear people’s views on the extension of a fair charging policy to daycare services to achieve this, including which elements of daycare services could be charged for and the timescales of any changes. 

Any policy would still ensure that no-one makes a contribution unless they are able to pay. No-one is charged for the service they receive unless they have had a financial assessment to determine their ability to pay. 

Traditionally, the council has made the decisions on the care people receive.  However, in 2011, during the most comprehensive consultation on adult social care in the history of Shropshire, people told the council that they want to have more choice and control over the services.  

The key messages on the sorts of approach people want included individual packages of care, care that offers independence and choice, and a variety of daycare provision.  The consultation shaped a new strategy for adult social care which drives forward what people told the council by focusing on equity, choice and variety in the way support is provided. 

Helping all people who are eligible for social care support to use personal budgets, which is also in line with government guidance, is one of the actions outlined in the strategy.  As more people are supported to choose services in this way, there needs to be a range of services available, with the associated costs, so that people know what they can get for their personal budget amount. 

To offer this, the council needs to address inconsistencies in its current charging and contribution arrangements for in-house or directly-provided daycare.  At present, these are inconsistent with all other adult social care support provided by the council, with such support from other providers of daycare, and with how other councils within the region deliver these services. 

There is currently a disincentive for organisations to come forward to add to the range of services, and for individuals who attend council delivered day centres to consider personalised alternatives, as these individuals do not make a contribution to the cost. However, people using other adult social care services, such as home care, are making a contribution. 

Ann Hartley, Cabinet member with responsibility for adult social care, said:

“During consultation a range of activities are taking place to listen to the views of adults who use daycare and other adult social care services, carers, representatives from advocacy and other independent organisations, health trusts, GPs, councillors, residents, staff, and the public. 

“We want to hear people’s thoughts and ideas on the next steps in ensuring we provide support that best suits people’s individual needs by offering more choice and control, and helping people to remain independent and active members of their communities. 

“We are encouraging people to take part and also have their say on the best way for people receiving daytime support to use personal budgets and make a fair contribution based on their ability to pay, in the same way as other people using adult social care services. 

“We are proposing that, by changing in this way, we can deliver the new services that people have told us they want.  At the same time we can make the savings needed due to Government cuts, face increasing demand from a growing number of people and still ensure that no-one makes a contribution unless they are able to pay.” 

Steve Charmley, Cabinet member for health and well-being, added:

“People have told us how we need to change the way that adult social care services are developed and delivered. 

“We were told during consultation last year that by supporting people to choose services, rather than us making decisions for them, we can help them to consider alternatives they may find more convenient, enjoyable and beneficial to traditional services.  

“We are urging people to get involved in this consultation and share their views on developing this approach, including introducing a fairer charging policy across adult social care services, which addresses the issue that some people are paying for services and some are not, enables more people to use personal budgets and encourages more organisations to add to the services available.” 

People can find out more about the consultation and share views in the following ways: