The future of adult social care and support: a roundtable discussion

As a part of the Department of Health’s ‘Caring for our future’ engagement exercise yesterday I attended a conference to discuss the up and coming Social Care white paper with such leading lights as Lord Norman Warner who was a co-author of the Dilnot Proposals, David Behan CBE the Department of Health’s Director General of Social Care. and Paul Burstow MP the Care Minster amongst others.

Lord Warner opened and spoke of the need for structural reform to the NHS and Social Care.

When you think that in Suffolk the Health System spends more that £4.5Billion it puts into context the figures he quoted such as 75% of NHS spend is for those with long term medical needs and that over £50% of the total spend is in the Actue Hospital Sector.

Interestingly he spoke of the Kidderminster effect where an independent won a Parliamentary election seat about saving a hospital that should have shut as a part of structural change and how there is much that MPs and the public alike will need convincing off.

He went on to say that without fundamental reform you won’t get the financial services industry to come up with the insurance and financial planning products; nor integration of the Social Care and CHC care assessment and you won’t get true portability.

He concluded that “There isn’t really another structural show (Dilnot) in town”

In answer to a question about how to drive integration of Adult and Social Care Assessment he said that in his opinion you have to define what integration means in legislation to make Health Services engage.

Next up was Frances Patterson QC who spoke about the recommendations of the Law Commission Report and right on the middle was perhaps the most significant element of al before the Social Care bill, if it results in a new care assessment process and the bar is set too ‘low’ then the costs will frankly bust local government in a one swoop!

The David Behan shared some of the latest thinking about the Social Care white papers and In answer to a question about Health and Well Being Boards David Behan said people keep asking can we do it and we have said all along that you don’t need permission.

However it strikes me that in my experience we accept we don’t need permission but Health do they need it is writing in triplicate to do anything.

Next came round table discussions and David Behan sat in on my tables and I was able to expand on the Suffolk Flexicare approach to helping shape the Care and housing markets, As Caroline Tapster the Chief Executive of Hertfordshire was sitting next to me throughout the morning I did have to acknowledge that I somewhat shameless stole their initial work on replacing Sheltered Housing with Extra Care Housing and expanded on it to drive forward Suffolk Flexicare.

Then came a session with the Care Minster Paul Burstow MP and a number of searching questions were put to him including one from me about the need to have it legislated to allow monies to shift around the system if savings are made and that if this meant that Acute Hospitals wards closed as a result the Heath and Well Being Boards have a Leadership Role to play in explaining to Residents why this was a great step forward as a more intelligent spend of the systems monies rather than cuts. David Sprasons my fellow regional Chairman of the Lead Member Group form the Midlands made the point that if we could shift 1% of the money by making improvements to long term care needs, getting older people out of the acute Hospitals wards and into Residential Care with medical supervision, a far better place to rest and recover and find new ways to better support people and prevent them presenting to the Acute’s in the first place we could pay for all of Andrew Dilnot’s Proposals without any need for additional monies to come into the system.

In answer to both of these Paul Burstow welcomed the thoughts and said this was in part about creating the framework to allow these things to happen and he hoped the Social Care White Paper would address these points and it was in part about MP’s and the General Public understanding what we are about.

After the sandwich lunch we then had a meeting of the Chairmen of the Regional Networks to discuss the morning and action points we could take away to discuss with our respective MPS to lobby for the Changes the system needs, the changes older people need, the changes we all need.

Now just leaving to go back to London for the very first meeting of the National Learning sets ministerial launch event for Health and Well Being Board early implementers, as I am Suffolk’s lead on this, but more of that later.

About askcolinnoble
I'm a Conservative politician-lite, I dabble a bit in Party Politics with my main focus of working hard and being a strong voice for my community making sure local government delivers quality services and fellow residents get value for money for their hard earned money they pay in Council tax | Where this Gravatar appears and I am expressing my views or liking something I do so in a personal capacity and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Suffolk County Council, Forest Heath District Council, the Conservative Party or come to think of it anyone else | But having said the above at an election time and to stay legal anything I write is promoted by Kerry Buist on behalf of Colin Noble, both at West Suffolk Conservative Association, Unit 8, Swan Lane Business Park, Exning, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7FN

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