Has social care passed its sell by date?

TLAP chair Clenton Farquharson’s latest blog is a response to some of the challenges in social care as discussed at the ADASS Spring seminar.

In Julie Ogley’s inaugural address as the new president of ADASS, she made a point about the current state of adult social care which resonated with my own views as chair of TLAP.

She said, “We shouldn’t be defined through our relationship with the acute health interface which may well miss the wider focus on wellbeing and the work of housing, leisure, public health and planners who all help to define and design the  places that we live in”.

The refreshed Making it Real guidance which the TLAP partnership and others endorsed certainly supports this view. The I and We statements across the six themes reference the significance of public and municipal bodies on our wellbeing with statements like,  “ I know about the activities, social groups, leisure and learning opportunities in my community, as well as health and care services “ and "We make sure that people can keep in touch and meet up with their family, friends and people in the community who are important to them". 

So with new approaches to transforming social care and growing evidence of innovative practice I believe we are right in saying that social care, as it currently stands for the majority of people, has passed its sell by date.

So what do I ask of ADASS? Here is my response to some of the challenging topics which I heard discussed at this year’s spring seminar.

  • If support with wellbeing is the goal of social care, and we need to move away from transactional support, bogged down by red tape – what concrete steps can ADASS take – and how can this be done in co-production?
  • Following on from ADASS’s “Next Generation” review, what does this mean in practice for how ADASS will demonstrate leadership in closing the Care Act Rhetoric-Reality gap?  
  • How could you include people with lived experience in how you do business – make decisions about priorities and use resources?

TLAP is part of #socialcarefuture. Maybe this could be a good starting point for a joint plan? If we are to move on from the current model of adult social care, we have to find space to make a better future with people at the centre of this discussion.

If there is one thing you remember from my blog let it be this: if we are to create the care that we want it has to be about people, relationships and lives.


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