Have your say as Council launches new commission into the future of adult social care

24 September 2021

Cheshire West and Chester Council is to create a new commission to ensure that adult social care provision in the borough is ready for future challenges and opportunities. 

Following Cabinet approval, the cross-party commission will look at the range of issues facing the service. A challenging provider market, developments in technology, building partnerships with the NHS, how care is paid for, budget pressures and changing demographics are all impacting on services. 

The Commission will meet virtually six times throughout 2021 and early 2022 and the Council is now asking for local people, partners, and providers to share any evidence they believe should be considered under the following themes. 
  • Developing a vision for social care: what is our local, positive, and tangible vision for adult social care which reflects the existing legislative framework and responds to the challenges and opportunities of the future? 
  • Funding and paying for care: what is our shared understanding of the funding challenge facing adult social care? What are our views on how care could be paid for and the balance between the taxpayer and the service user? 
  • The role of communities and service user engagement: how can local communities, carers and individuals be engaged and supported to meet the needs of people who need support? How do we move further towards social care practice which builds on the strengths of individuals rather than deficits? 
  • Workforce: How do we develop the future Adult Social Care workforce and career pathways? 
  • Technology: what further role can technology play in the care and support of local people? 
  • Commissioning high quality, ethical care: how can the council and its partners ensure that care that is delivered by the independent and community sectors is high quality and in line with our values and vision? 
It will co-opt Alison Lee, Chief Executive of West Cheshire Integrated Care Partnership, and Gary Cliffe, Chief Executive of West Cheshire Voluntary Action to help shape the final recommendations. A range of other partners will also be invited to participate as expert witnesses, with findings and recommendations to the Council’s Cabinet. 

Cabinet member for adult social care and health and chair of the new commission, Councillor Val Armstrong, said: “We want residents to be supported in achieving their aspirations for a healthy and happy life in a place they call home, playing a part in their family and community as much as they wish. 

“We know that social care plays an important role in keeping residents safe in sometimes very difficult circumstances. 

“Adult social care services have been under some pressure for many years and it’s important that we start to identify opportunities to do things differently for the benefit of the many people within our borough who rely on us. We will use the information we receive and its ultimate recommendations to set out the needs of our borough at a national level.” 

Members of the public will be able to attend the meetings and contribute through public speaking time at the start of each meeting. All ideas – big and small – can be shared now by emailing: futureofsocialcare@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

All public evidence gathered will be used to support and inform the Commission and influence the final recommendations on the future of social care within west Cheshire.

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