A report – A progressive approach to adult social care – has been published by Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) into adult social care services which draws on research and findings from Knowsley Council.
CLES were commissioned last year by the North West Association of Directors of Adult Social Care Services to carry out research to understand the nature of the local adult social care markets and identify ways to build resilience.
Knowsley Council participated in the research which included reviewing our local market (what is delivered by the council, Community Interest Companies, charities and community businesses), working with the council’s Whole Life Commissioning Service and Adult Social Care services around current and future requirements.
The research phase included interviews and focus groups with officers, Elected Members, the voluntary sector as well as service users which helped to identify barriers and potential solutions.
CLES reported that the council’s most innovative practice was around supported living, day services and prevention.
It was also noted that in terms of Government funding, Knowsley is the hardest hit local authority in the country. Adult Social Care services in Knowsley continue to be delivered and adapted to meet residents’ needs, whilst also working in an environment where funding remains a significant challenge.
CLES identified Knowsley Better Together as good practice. Knowsley Better Together brings people and organisations together for the benefit of Knowsley and its residents by pooling ideas, resources and expertise. Within Adult Social Care, the Knowsley Better Together approach is exemplified through strong partnership relationships with the community and voluntary sector and local community organisations to improve and transform services and support vulnerable people in the borough.
The findings and recommendations from the research, which includes utilising local groups that maximise social value and meaningful co-production on the services and support delivered, will now be reviewed by the council’s Adult Social Care team.
The findings will help to shape the market across the region, particular as local authorities move into the recovery phase following the Coronavirus pandemic.
Cllr Sean Donnelly, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said:
“I welcome the findings from this report and I’m delighted that a number of our services have been independently highlighted as strengths. It was useful for CLES to review what we do and how we do it in order to identify improvements that we can consider to improve care and choice for our residents.”
“This work has helped to provide the tools commissioners can use in order to better understand their local care markets and when and how to support the development of providers that create high social value outputs in local communities, in line with our Knowsley Better Together principles.”