Social services directors must establish adult social care in the wider health and wellbeing context to meet the rising demand for services from a growing elderly population.
Anne Williams, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, told delegates to look to the NHS, voluntary sector services and to colleagues across the council to help provide more services in the community.
In Williams’ keynote speech at the National Children and Adults Services conference, she emphasised the importance of developing “corporate and wider partnerships, wellbeing strategies and reablement” to meet the demand.
By using budgets outside of adult social care, councils would no longer have to tighten their eligibility criteria to meet the financial pressures of a growing population aged over 80 and more people with long-term conditions, she added.
“There are huge opportunities for us here, and unless we grasp them and see social care in this wider context, we will be driven to provide ever-increasing, intensive services to fewer people,” said Williams.
Association of Directors of Adult Social Services