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700 days and counting

I have previously talked often about the delays to the Adult Social Care Green Paper, and the current promise of a paper to be produced pre-April feels still distant. 

Age UK have put this delay into sharp focus with its statistical release on what was the 700th day since the Chancellor announced there would be a Green Paper, back in his budget announcement of 2017. Since that day, Age UK figures determine:

  • 54,025 older people have died while waiting for a care package to be put in place for them
  • 626,701 people have had their requests for social care refused by their council
  • 7,240 older people have had the terrible experience of running down all their savings because of their care bills, leaving them reliant on the State to fund their care in future and with nothing to leave for loved ones after their death.
  • 1,263,844 older people have developed an unmet need, such as being able to wash or dress. This is 1,805 developing an unmet need every day.

More details of Age UK analysis can be found here.

In another perspectives on the urgency of Adult Social Care Reform, Professor Bob Hudson, who spoke at the NCF summer celebration last year, has produced, in partnership with NESTA, a perspective on what needs to be the focus of the future. 

In his detailed report ‘We need to talk about social care’, whilst acknowledging the need to address the money, he also talks about the other areas where change needs to happen:-

  1. New administrative structures
  2. A new focus on ethical behaviour
  3. Rein in and reshape the care market
  4. Commissioning for innovation
  5. Supporting change to make it happen

Finally he focuses in on the need to ‘Commission for Innovation’. Professor Hudson provides some clear criteria for what this will look like including a focus on co-production, the need to retain local wealth (see NCF Blog ‘For Richer for Poorer), and the need to commission locally. This report is an extremely valuable narrative on ‘ground up’ reform, that will need to be understood in a potentially changing political climate. See the full report here

Finally, the need for innovation is recognised by government, and whilst the wait for the Green Paper goes on – 700 days and counting – the DHSC has funded SCIE, TLAP and Shared Lives Plus to establish the Social Care Innovation Network. The push behind this can be best understood perhaps from a comment by the SCIE CEO, Tony Hunter, who writes in a recent blog for the Local Government Chronicle“Our challenge is to proactively seek out those low-key innovations and new ways of working which are making a difference, and then work together to better understand the ingredients of success and what needs to happen to expand it.” 

SCIE launched the Social Care Innovation Network last week, and NCF is pleased to have been invited to be a part of this.

Full details of the network and agenda can be found here.

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