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Focus on prevention and supporting people to live independently as council refreshes strategy for Adult Social Care

Norfolk County Council, 12 January 2024 13:14

Supporting people to live independently is at the heart of Norfolk County Council's proposed five-year strategy for Adult Social Care, as the council reshapes its approach based on feedback from residents and service users.

Members of the People and Communities Select Committee will meet on 19 January and will hear about how the council proposes to respond to the challenges facing adult social care and how it has used people's views to inform its proposed strategy.

Councillors are asked to endorse the strategy, which focuses on three key areas - prevention and early help, supporting people to live independently, and ensuring there is the right support for people with multiple and complex needs.

Cllr Fran Whymark, Chair of the People and Communities Select Committee at Norfolk County, said: "Norfolk's population is getting older and life expectancy here is higher than the national average, which is great news.

"Unfortunately, the time people spend living in ill health is also longer, so it's important that we can support them to have the very best quality of life. This brings with it extra pressure on social care, so it is important that members are able to consider the council's approach and ensure we are doing all we can to meet the needs of our residents.

"The focus is very much on identifying those who might need help early, before their needs escalate, and supporting people to live independently at home - because we know that's what the vast majority of people want."

Over the summer, the council held focus groups, ran a survey and worked with partners to facilitate a range of conversations about adult social care.

The responses have been grouped into six themes, which have helped to shape the strategy.

People told the council:

  • They would like to understand more about the services we provide
  • The council should ensure information is easy to find
  • The council should be consistent in the way it communicates with people
  • Some carers would like more support in certain areas
  • People with sensory support sometimes feel they would like more support accessing information
  • Co-production and engagement should be a priority

Cllr Alison Thomas, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care at Norfolk County Council, said: "We want the people who use, or who might need our services, to have a key role in helping to shape them, which is why we carried out this widespread engagement in the summer.

"It was encouraging to hear that most people thought we were focusing on the right areas, but they also gave us feedback on what we can do better and that has fed into our proposed strategy.

"We continue to face significant challenges in adult social care, which is why we are changing how we work, being more proactive in trying to understand where needs might develop, as well as providing more support for people to be able to stay in their homes or return home."

The strategy will need to be considered by the council's Cabinet and Full Council before it can be fully adopted.

Norfolk County Council's People and Communities Select Committee will consider the report when it meets at 10am on Friday 19 January. You can watch the meeting, live or afterwards, and read the reports online.

Last modified: 14 May 2024 13:19

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