‘We need to find different ways to provide great support and care.’
As the countdown starts to our new Housing and Adult Social Care events in partnership with Adass, our senior policy and practice officer Sarah Davis takes a look at the challenges we face and how the event will shed a light on approaches to tackling them.
How can we ensure that older and disabled people can live with greater independence for as long as possible, connected in communities, and enjoying better wellbeing and care? As number of older people with higher needs, including dementia increases, alongside the growing need for care and support from working aged adults with disabilities and long term conditions, we need to find different ways to provide great support and care from increasingly restricted budgets.
This event will bring together leaders across housing and social care to share the ‘art of the possible’, understand the contribution that each can make to supporting independent living and good outcomes for older and disabled people, and work out how they can transfer some of the success stories showcased to their own localities.
The Care Act 2014 was driven by the need to do things differently in order to tackle the rising pressures for services from an increasingly ageing population. More emphasis was placed on the role of specialist housing to provide support earlier on and address the escalating dependency on care services. The government’s Transforming Care agenda is focused on how to give more opportunities for people with learning disabilities to live with greater independence and better health and care outcomes.
There is now an urgency to achieve a shift change in how we develop services across housing and care; ADASS have warned of a potential funding gap of £2.6bn for services for older and disabled people by the end of the decade, and increasingly directors of adult social care are reporting concerns over the sustainability of services for adults. For the first time last year, this pressure is growing from the numbers of working aged adults with long term conditions as well as from the rising number of older people.
The Autumn Budget, however, was noticeably silent on additional measures for adult social care. Whilst there was a welcome focus on housing investment, there is still uncertainty in the sheltered and supported housing sector about the long term revenue funding, following on from the largescale disappearance of investment for housing support services. The government’s recent policy statement brought some reassurance, but the detail of elements – affecting homes for older people, and short term crisis services- are still to be fully worked through.
In the meantime, some partners across care and housing are managing to make breakthroughs, and together developing and investing in housing schemes that deliver greater independence, dignity and good outcomes for older and disabled people. The event will showcase many of these, and provide an opportunity to look more closely at what has made these schemes work, and how that might be possible in different local areas.
Sarah Davis is senior policy and practice officer at the Chartered Institute of Housing.