Preventative vision of the Care Act embraced in the West Midlands
Today sees the launch of the prevention report “Inside out and upside down: Community based approaches to social care prevention in a time of austerity” written by Robin Miller of Birmingham University & Christine Whitehead, of Stoke on Trent City Council and member of the WM ADASS. The authors worked with a number of Adult Social Care Assistant Directors in the region to produce a report that showcases six councils that have developed their approaches to asset based community development in a climate of austerity.
Christine Whitehead explains why such approach has been developed at Stoke-on-Trent Council: “At Stoke we have developed our Community plus programme to try and get ahead of the curve in preventing people getting into the system before absolutely necessary. The early signs are that the approach is contributing to our efficiency targets as well as valuing the tremendous community assets that exist in all of our communities across the city”.
The piece also provides commentary and useful insights around the significance of prevention in provision of a sustainable social care model.
As part of their wider Improvement Plan, West Midlands ADASS and Improvement and Efficiency West Midlands, committed in 2014 to undertake some work to look at the different approaches being taken across the West Midlands towards prevention and ways to support local communities.
The report draws out some of the themes that are emerging from these approaches and highlights some of the common factors that have been seen to be successful in both reducing costs and encouraging partnership working.
In the context of the imminent implementation of the Care Act and its emphasis on preventative approaches, the report is seen to be useful and timely in highlighting the good work being done by West Midlands councils in this area.
According to Robin Miller, “Local authorities across the West Midlands have embraced the spirit of the care act regarding holistic and person centred preventative support. That they have managed to do so at a time of continuing austerity demonstrates their resilience and vision.”
Leading on from this year’s work the Directors of Public Health in the West Midlands have agreed to do a similar assignment in collaboration with WM ADASS which will focus on the needs of the frail elderly in the context of ‘Ageing Well’.