People from West Sussex set new priorities for adult social care

People across West Sussex are helping to shape the future of adult social care to ensure services support residents to live a good life.

‘The life you want to lead’ is the new strategy approved by Cabinet that sets out five priorities to guide the future development of West Sussex County Council’s adult social care services up to 2025 within the context of our Council Plan. These are:

  1. Building relationships and connections – Recognising the importance of three key different types of relationships: with families and close support, with help and support, as well as with wider social networks.
  1. Empowerment – Putting the emphasis on enabling and supporting people to be equal partners in, and where possible lead on, decisions about what happens in their lives and to maximise their independence and ability to lead a fulfilling life.
  1. Home – Supporting people to be in their own homes and where independent living is not possible, in places that feel like home recognising that having good connections to other people such as family, friends and neighbours is important.
  1. Addressing gaps – Highlighting four key gaps to be addressed: the shortage of care workers; the gaps in understanding and support for people with autism or who have an acquired brain injury; moving from children’s to adults’ services (transitions); and paying for care.
  1. Inclusion and tackling inequalities – Promoting inclusion for people facing multiple disadvantage; understanding and responsiveness to diversity and tackling inequalities; and promoting digital inclusion and making the best use of assistive technologies.

Reflecting our Council Plan commitment to put residents and communities at the heart of everything we do by working closely with communities and partners, these priorities have been shaped through an intensive process of engagement and co-design with people who access care and support, their carers and organisations who support them.

Through a public survey and views shared in workshops, group discussions and one to one interviews held between September and December last year, people were asked to share what a ‘good life’ means to them and identify the things that would enable them to achieve that.

The strategy will support all future adult social care decision-making within West Sussex County Council until 2025. Not only will it look to make the best use of the available resources and meet the standards of care and support that people in West Sussex require and deserve, but it will also help the council and our communities manage the challenges adult social care is facing now and in the longer term.

Councillor Amanda Jupp, Cabinet Member for Adults’ Services, said: “I would like to thank everyone who helped to create this new strategy.

“The honest and open conversations we were involved with allowed us not only to identify people’s top priorities, but also provide greater clarity on what this really means to people. It also highlighted areas of potential gaps which we can now start to address.

“We will continue to work with people and our partners to find solutions for the sustainable future of social care which will be able to support people to live their concept of a good life.

“Only by working together will we deliver the aspirations in the strategy. It will be a truly shared endeavour with equal partnerships.”

Keith Hinkley, Executive Director of Adults and Health said: “Putting people at the heart of all we do has never been more important. People’s contributions in shaping this strategy clearly show what is important to them to have full and valued lives.

“Set against the backdrop of significant funding challenges, together with the increasing demand on our services it is more important than ever that we do things differently.

“It is critical that this is done in a way which enables people to live their vision of a good life. This will be different for everyone, but the conversations to develop the strategy showed that people share common priorities.”

The new strategy complements existing work, such as the carers strategy, dementia strategy and the Changing Futures Programme – which looks to support people facing multiple disadvantage. It will also inform the future joint health and social care priorities.

The decision taken by Cabinet, will take effect from the 10 February following the county council’s normal ‘call-in’ period.

There is more detail about each of the five priorities in the full strategy, ‘The life you want to lead’, which is available at www.westsussex.gov.uk/ascstrategy.

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