Somerset Council is considering undertaking a major transformation of how it delivers Adult Social Care in the county. Proposals will be reviewed by the Council’s Adults and Health Scrutiny Committee on May 31.
The proposals, published as part of the Committee’s Agenda, describes how, as part of a review procured in November 2022, major opportunities have been identified to provide care that focuses more on promoting people’s independence, improving outcomes for Somerset residents and driving savings in the costs of care services.
The review identified opportunities to focus more intensely on preventative services, community support and ‘reablement’ support for people leaving hospital. The proposals could lead to:
- 700 more people benefiting from reablement every year.
- 200,000+ fewer hours of homecare needing to be commissioned every year.
- 80 fewer residential placements needing to be commissioned every year.
- 100 adults with a learning disability moving out of a residential home and back into the community.
The ‘diagnostic review’ of care services, carried out by Newton Europe, identified opportunities to deliver recurring savings of £14.2m per year, stretching to a possible £17.2m. The majority of the savings would be delivered by more effective demand management. The council is now discussing commissioning Newton Europe to support a transformation programme at the cost of £3.5m a year for two years, but with guaranteed recurring savings of £10million per year.
Councillor Dean Ruddle, Somerset Council’s Executive Lead Member for Adult Social Care said:
We are exploring investing to save and investing to improve. One of our four priorities in the Council Plan is to support ‘a Healthy and Caring Somerset’. While our Adult Social Care service is already performing well, we have to find ways of coping with the constant pressures of rising demand and the growing complexity of residents’ care needs.
If we are to continue to provide a high-quality service, we need to constantly explore how we can become more efficient whilst improving our care, and managing taxpayers’ money effectively. Investing to save is investing in better serving our residents and fulfilling our statutory duty as a Council.
The current budget for Adult Social Care in Somerset is £186 million and accounts for 38% of the council’s revenue budget.