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Round ‘em up and pile ‘em high!

4 November 2016

NCF Blog by Vic Rayner

What do you call a gathering of social care aficionados?  Nobody is quite sure, if the hot debate about the exact status of the hashtag for the National Children and Adult Services conference is anything to go by – variously #ncas16, #ncasc16, #NCASC16 etc….. You get the picture – but all this confusion makes it very difficult for those not present to get a grip on proceedings via the marvels of social media!

So – to ease your frustration, I thought it would be helpful to put together a snapshot of a few of the key documents launched at this years’ event, and I have grouped them together under headline areas. 

Care Act – Addressing the challenges of implementation

Strengths based working; coproduction and empowerment were key messages at the conference. They reiterate the strong rhetoric evident within the Care Act 2014, and are part of a widespread push to plug the gap between the rhetoric and reality. TLAP have been at the forefront of much of this work, and were launching a key publication Engaging and Empowering Communities: Our Shared Call to Action. This document offers a ‘shared narrative’, agreed by leaders including people who use services, professionals and carers, which describes the conditions that are needed to create strong and inclusive communities. It argues that this needs to be central to the transformation of the health and care sector. TLAP have also produced two new films on co-producing public services, more details of which can be found on their website

In addition, there were a number of reports focusing on the success or otherwise of personal budgets and personalisation of services. In Control released their report on the Independent Living Survey 2016 highlighting key findings around choice and control, quality of life and well-being and information and advice. The survey results offer a clear indication that there is much work to be done to improve individual’s experience of the system and for many a worsening picture is emerging. In addition, the Alzheimer’s Society launched guidance for local authorities geared around making personal budgets dementia friendly. The guidance and charter can be found here

State of the Sector

Hot on the tail of a series of reports about the adult social care market, including analysis from ADASS, Kings Fund and the CQDC – the Local Government Association took the opportunity of the NCAS conference to launch their latest overview of the state of the sector. This report outlines the LGA case for the sector, and is provided with an eye to influencing the Chancellor’s thinking around the Autumn Statement. The document contains a series of perspectives from across the sector including those of commissioners, elected members, care providers, regulators and workforce experts. Whilst the comments are not new, it provides a valuable overview and a united voice. The full report can be found here.

Transforming Social Care

As you would expect, the focus on new models of care and new ways of working was a key part of a range of discussions. In addition to those debates, SCIE launched their initiative to develop a Five Year Forward View for Social Care. SCIE argue that the NHS benefits from having the Five Year Forward View which sets out a case for up-front investment in the NHS – but no such case has been made for social care. Yet social care has a track record of transforming services, such as delivering personal budgets, asset-based approaches and co-production, and needs to be backed to make further transformation possible. The paper provides an analysis of the potential for scaling up the most promising examples of care and support services to see what their impact would be on outcomes and costs. It uses real data from Birmingham City Council, with which they have scaled up three models to estimate their potential benefits.

There was also a strong focus on the transforming workforce that is engaged in the adult social care arena, with contributions from Skills for Care, Lyn Romeo – Chief Social Worker, discussions around Nurse Associates and the role of OT’s in social care. 

I recognise that I have only rounded up a few of the key headlines from the event – but hope this provides you with a starter for 10 on your weekend reading pile! 

Executive Director

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