Change, challenge, collaborate: lead the change as Devon’s head of adult social care

A feature sponsored by Devon County Council

As one of the largest counties in the UK, there is a lot more to Devon than clifftops and coastlines. Devon’s social landscape presents diverse, challenging and complicated issues.The council is the second largest authority in England, serving 750,100 of 1.1 million individuals in Devon.

With the population rising and people living longer, the demand for services is intensifying. Therefore, the council is thinking creatively and acting more innovatively than ever before to become one of the most progressive local authorities in the country.

Recently, the council has been working hard to reshape how things are done to ensure that they are delivering the best possible outcomes for the children and adults of Devon. Committed to protecting individuals and ensuring that the elderly and the disadvantaged get the help they need and deserve, the council is currently looking for a head of adult social care to lead them further on their journey of transformation.

Phil Norrey, chief executive of Devon County Council, explains:

“To say that it’s an exciting time for adults’ services here at Devon County Council would be an understatement. With an unapologetic commitment to the individual and a continuous evolutionary approach to change, we’ve worked hard and made bold decisions recently in order to better our services. The current postholder has laid good foundations and I’m now looking for an influential leader to head up our adults’ services and build on our strengths to take us to the next level. Collaboration and transformation will be significant in the role. Joining us, you’ll drive change to meet challenges and deliver person-centred services of the highest quality.”

Devon County Council is the UK’s fourth largest local authority by population of older people and the adult social care service is responsible for the largest budget and workforce of the council. Over recent years, the service has blazed a trail of strong foundations and stable service performance, building solid partnerships with the NHS and other organisations.

Working together, they have delivered successful projects that have helped more people to live at home than in institutional care. The council is currently looking for a head of adult social care to provide strong leadership, building on the excellent foundations to develop and deliver the highest quality care management services. The strategic direction of the council and their single organisation approach presents significant career opportunities and a chance to positively impact operations and strategies, in order to deliver the best outcomes for people across Devon.

‘Diverse, challenging and interesting’

Head of adult social care, Sally Slade, commented:

“Having led the adult social care service for a number of years, I can safely say that it is a diverse, challenging and interesting role. The scope and scale of the opportunity is huge as you are managing the single largest budget and single largest workforce within Devon County Council, working in close partnership with NHS community services.

This is an opportunity for someone highly experienced and influential, to build on strengths and have a notable impact on the service. I strongly believe that this is a fantastic job in a beautiful county and a chance to make a real difference over a large area. The stability within the council provides a firm base on which you can build improvements and see projects through to completion. With strong leadership skills, you’ll develop excellent working relationships with the NHS, integrating arrangements further and inspiring a large and committed workforce. The council’s strong programme management structure will enable you to make things happen and deliver change projects that improve outcomes for individuals. Challenges and collaboration will be intrinsic to all that you do, so you’ll need excellent people skills, resilience and a good sense of humour!”

Devon County Council is looking for someone who is in a similar leadership role in adult’s social care to motivate the team and lead the service further. On top of a competitive salary, the council is offering a wide range of rewards and benefits. If this sounds like your kind of challenge, you can find out more about the opportunity and the journey the service is on at

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