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Reflections from ADASS Spring Seminar 2022

by | May 12, 2022 | Adult social care, Health and NHS improvements | 0 comments

There are many changes facing adult social care but there are four that stand out the most.

The recent ADASS Spring Seminar was an opportunity for sector leaders to come together and discuss the challenges facing adult social care, share best practice and consider opportunities for change. The conference, sponsored by IMPOWER, was a sell-out – highlighting the desire to collaborate and learn from each other.

We co-produced a workshop with Manchester City Council on navigating through the chaos of social care change. We were delighted to have a full house of engaged delegates, all keen to explore the key challenges facing the sector. Manchester City Council’s Executive Director of Adult Social Services, Bernadette Enright, shared how the ‘Better Outcomes, Better Lives’ transformation programme enabled Manchester to maintain focus and deliver excellent outcomes, despite some challenging circumstances. Find out more via Bernadette’s recent MJ article and our case study.

The conference generated much-needed discussion around the challenges facing the sector, but there were four key themes.

  1. Standing in the shoes of care recipients is crucial. When co-producing interventions, the voice of care recipients must be heard to secure impact that matters to them. The sector recognises the importance of this and some good practice does exist, however, co-production is immature in most parts of the country. With the many reforms coming over the next couple of years, the sector must make a commitment to true co-production and hearing lived experiences.
  2. We need a more targeted and place-based approach to delivery. A ‘one-size fits all’ approach is not effective. Interventions must support what matters to individuals and draw upon community and ecosystem support, rather than more traditional and often siloed ways of working . This very much resonates with IMPOWER’s focus on strengths-based approaches and making best use of place-based prevention spend.
  3. Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) present an opportunity work together very differently. Brave leadership, compromise, and ‘a need to be good to each other during the tough times’ is required to realise the potential benefits of ICSs. There was also recognition that local authorities are better placed than the NHS to engage with local communities and support a more place-based agenda.
  4. One in ten care roles being vacant presents a significant challenge. With one in ten care roles vacant in March 2022, the challenge is significant but what can be done? Increase remuneration for the lowest paid roles? Create career pathways across health and care? Encourage greater recognition of the value this paid and unpaid workforce offers? Make better use of technology to reduce the need for a paid workforce? Certainly, much more can be done to value the millions of unpaid carers who are integral to supporting many adults.

As always, ADASS Spring Seminar was a great opportunity to re-connect with the sector, and for leaders to discuss the challenges and opportunities ahead. If you would like to find out more about how IMPOWER can help navigate through the chaos of social care change, please get in touch.