In a recent Capita Transformation survey with members of the County Councils Network, 94% of respondents felt that adult social care was the biggest financial pressure facing their council, and more than half felt that funding pressures were severe.
We have identified key areas where positive changes can be made so that the most vulnerable residents still receive a quality service.
A combination of new, flexible approaches that also deliver savings for local authorities can be based on a system designed around residents. It would use creative package design with more care options for residents at all stages of contact during the process.
There need to be efficiencies, savings in the service supply chain, more and better telecare, better and more enablement and reablement services, and demand management.
We must understand and address some of the most significant challenges practitioners face.
Pressures on resource mean there is little room for creativity in the sector. Councils or their partners like Capita must nurture new technologies and ways of working to meet this challenge.
We are increasingly investing in companies that have these capabilities and are looking to partner with innovators.
While councils need financial help from the government, they also cannot rely on it. To continue providing quality services, they must develop care models more embedded in local communities.
Councils can work more closely with their clients and local groups to identify a network of organisations with smaller services that better match the needs of residents. These could be accessed at an early intervention stage and could help people to maintain their independence for longer.
All too often people equate large amounts of spending with the best service but this is a fallacy. New technologies and capabilities – such as the next generation of assistive and telecare technologies – can save councils money so shouldn’t be seen as a downgrade in care.
The best service starts and ends with dignity and respect, and these basic rights are not measured by how big the bill is but by the care that person receives.
If we truly want to improve services and personalise them, then we must delve deeper to understand what makes people feel respected and dignified, rather than using current services as the starting point. This way we can explore many more options.
In spite of the difficulties local authorities face in the coming years, there is room and a case for rejuvenation in the sector.
Andy Theedom, local government market director, Capita Transformation
Column sponsored and supplied by Capita Transformation