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Mar 20, 2019

According to Andy Begley, who heads up adult social care, housing and public health at Shropshire Council, and is Co-Chair of West Midlands ADASS, better informed providers, consumers and commissioners should lead to a more positive view about the future of social care.

People who have care needs, and their families, can use technology and web-based services to identify and access information and services that in the past might have needed to be supplied by council teams. This enables a shift in control of the sort that consumers have welcomed in other areas of life, like shopping, banking and travel.

Professional social care services will of course continue to be needed, but can be supplied more flexibly, based on better-informed conversations with service users and their families.

The same better-informed, more ‘grown-up’ approach applies to commissioner- provider relations, which, making use of the wealth of data held by and available to councils, could help deliver a more sustainable provider market.

For this to happen, behaviours need to change, with commissioners less hidebound by traditional case management driven systems, care users and their families more willing to take control, and providers being given more access to council-held intelligence about local demand for services and more flexible procurement approaches.