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'Take a new approach to adult social care'

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Buckinghamshire CC, like most local authorities, faces the challenge of providing adult health and social care services to an ageing and evergrowing population, while it experiences a reduction in government funding of 53%.

In response, Peopletoo and the council embarked on a programme to radically redesign service delivery. We are on track to deliver £5.2m savings in the first year.

Following a detailed diagnostic by Peopletoo, an approach was developed that made the best use of not only budgets and resources, but also community assets. Using strengths-based practice, digital tools and prevention models the council is making it easier for people to take care of themselves, improve their lives and remain as independent as possible.

This prevents or delays the need for expensive care packages. Support from shortterm services has been increased to focus more on helping people maintain or regain their independence.

One of the first steps was to build a vision for the future of the service and describe the new model. Better Lives 2018-2021, a strategy for the future of adult social care in Buckinghamshire was published in April 2018.

The model features three tiers: living independently, regaining independence, and living with support, later converted into operational work streams. This enables us to progress several parts of the strategy concurrently and manage interdependencies.

Among the areas of work is embedding a strengths-based approach. To this end new documentation and an assessment framework have been developed, and practice development sessions delivered by Peopletoo alongside direct work with teams to embed.

We also launched new market position statements on prevention, housing and technology, to start an ongoing conversation with providers about how we can better work together for sustainable outcomes.

We integrated short-term services, working with the NHS to develop strengthsbased services focused on helping people to regain or maintain their independence.

Similarly we transformed support services, moving away from traditional services in favour of tailored personalised support and increased choice.

Throughout all this we listened to our stakeholders, commissioning Talkback to engage and inform future services and communitybased activities. And we redesigned digital tools to support channel shift, selfassessment and self-service and provide quality information and guidance.

Critical to our success has been practice development and driving culture change. Where this has not formed part of the transformation, changes have not been sustainable and benefits have not been fully realised.

Maggie Kenney, chief executive, Peopletoo and Gill Quinton, executive director, Buckinghamshire CC

Column sponsored and supplied by Peopletoo

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  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Where are the specific examples of work done that provides THE MOST FRAIL, CHRONICALLY ILL, ISOLATED PATIENTS AGED 85 PLUS with enough community and healthcare support to ensure they can live safely and happily outside residential care?

    This is the demographic that costs local authorities and the NHS most to support. It's the demographic most often failed by both organisations.

    Articles like this one don't offer much practical help to all those doing their best to deliver "good enough" services in spite of the lack of resources and inadequate numbers of properly trained and managed staff.

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