Council to bring in strategic partner as part of "Promoting Independence Programme" in Adult Social Care

12 January 2022

Norfolk County Council’s Cabinet today approved a major programme for Adult Social Services.

As a result of today’s decision, a new phase of Norfolk County Council’s Promoting Independence Programme will begin, including a radical new focus on prevention and early intervention across all areas of the department, to be delivered through an “Invest to Save” arrangement with strategic partner Newton Europe.

Cllr Bill Borrett, Norfolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “I am delighted that the Cabinet has approved our new partnership, especially with such a strong partner. We’re under no illusion that all local authorities face a very real challenge in how they meet the needs of an ageing population. We know that the Government is making £5.4 billion available for social care in future years, and Norfolk needs to be well placed to maximise its share of that investment.

“This transformation is a vital step which draws on the skills and experience of an external partner with a strong track record of delivering change. If we do not invest in this change now, there is a very real risk that the council will be unable to meet the challenges that we know are coming in future years.”

The project will build on the findings of Newton Europe’s initial work with Norfolk County Council, which found that almost half of people who contacted Adult Social Care could be better supported to remain well and independent for longer.

James Bullion, Norfolk County Council’s Executive Director for Adult Social Services, said: “Thanks to modern medicine, people in Norfolk are living longer than ever before, but that does bring it’s own challenges, including how to meet ever increasing demands for social care. By taking a this approach, we in Norfolk are leading the way, away from a reactive social care system and towards a proactive model that prioritises prevention and early help to keep people healthy, independent and able to live their lives to the fullest, while delivering better outcomes at better value.”

It is estimated that this increased focus on prevention could allow those supported by the programme to remain independent for longer, with all the improvements to quality of life that independence has been shown to bring, while simultaneously reducing demand on Adult Social Services in Norfolk in the first five years alone. As part of this work the council will enter a partnership with Newton Europe, a UK based specialist in operational improvement.

Steve Phillips, Senior Partner at Newton said: "Norfolk County Council is seeking to take an ambitious and aspirational approach to meet their challenges by fundamentally redesigning services to better meet the needs of their population, improve outcomes for individuals, and in doing so create an adult social care service which is fit for the future.

"We have worked with a number of other public sector organisations to deliver similarly bespoke and complex programmes, always working alongside frontline teams and ensuring the result of any change is better for resident outcomes."

Newton Europe, who have a strong history of working in Adult Social Care systems including with Royal Borough of Greenwich, and Leicestershire County Council, will receive a one-off fee of up to £6.3m but this full fee is entirely contingent on the delivery of annual financial benefit of £9.45m.

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