Councils can improve outcomes and save money in adult care by switching existing resources into schemes to “re-able” people to live their lives independently.
John Bolton, director of community services at Coventry Council, said he had shaved £1m off his annual older people’s services budget by providing six-week rehabilitative programmes for people entering the social care system, delivered by occupational therapists and home care staff. He said half of the scheme’s users did not need social care afterwards, although their progress had not been tracked.
The Department of Health’s Care Services Efficiency Delivery team, which is responsible for promoting efficiency savings in adult social care, is examining the value of such reablement schemes.
However, Bolton said there was no equivalent model for people with learning difficulties, and that the £1m saving from older people services had been poured into services for this group.