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Integrated Adult Social Care Policy Framework


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1. Purpose of this document

1.1 This document sets out the process for the development and production of new Integrated Adult Social Care policies and the review of existing policies. It includes any policies relating to; commissioning arranging, managing, or providing adult care and support services by Devon County Council (DCC). It applies to anyone involved in developing, reviewing, or approving these policies, including DCC staff and managers in integrated NHS and DCC roles.

2. Why we have this policy framework

2.1  The policy framework applies to Integrated Adult Social Care policies including policies that relate to both Adult Social Care Operations and Adult Social Care Commissioning.

2.2  The framework does not apply to policies, procedures or strategies that relate solely to Contracting and Procurement.

2.3  Arrangements for Devon Partnership Trust (DPT) to provide integrated mental health and social care services to adult mental health service users are described in the Section 75 agreement with DPT. The agreement specifies that DPT will carry out DCCs duties within these services consistent with the Care Act. Where relevant, DPT are expected to abide by DCC’s ASC policies.

2.4  Staff guidance and processes must be consistent with all policies and relevant legislation. Policy implementation plans may require staff guidance and procedures to be developed or updated. Guidance, processes and procedures have a separate development and review process. Definitions of policy, procedures, guidance are set out in appendix 1.

3. What this policy framework will achieve

3.1 The aims and objectives of this framework are:

1) Ensure Integrated Adult Social Care policies deliver an effective framework for staff in adult social care to provide effective services in line with DCCs duties and legislation.

2) Ensure policy development across DCC Integrated Adult Social Care is consistent, and robust governance arrangements are in place.

3) Ensure a framework that allows for timely reviews, approval and publication of policy to ensure staff and the public continue to have access to the most up-to-date and relevant policy with staff appropriately supported to implement policy.

4. The Policy Development and Review Process

Figure 1 below shows a five-step process to policy development for both new policy development and reviewing existing policy

4.1. Policy scoped by Policy Team

4.1.1 Requests to the Policy Team for new policy will come from various places across both commissioning and operational teams, from internal and external sources and from various levels.

4.1.2 To help understand the need for and scope of a new policy or policy amendment the Policy Team will work with those requesting the policy work and other stake holders to develop a brief (1 page) overview of the policy work request. (Appendix 2)

4.1.3 The Policy Team, including the Principal Social Workers for Integrated Adult Social Care, Commissioning and Occupational Therapy and the Senior Manager for Strategy, Policy, Performance and Involvement, will decide whether to make a recommendation on the need for the policy, what its scope should be and how it will be developed.

4.2 Reviewing existing policy

 4.2.1 The Policy Team will be managing a schedule for reviewing (and developing new policies for known policy gaps) all policy, guidance, processes, and procedures.  

4.2.2 The Policy Team including the Principal Social Workers and the Senior Manager for Policy, Performance and Involvement will undertake a virtual desktop review of the policy and make a judgement as to the extent of the changes required and whether a more extensive review is required. 

4.2.3 Minor changes will be taken forward by the Policy Team; this could include amendments to clarify language or to reflect changes in DCC structure. Major changes such as responding to national legislation, or the removal of policy must be agreed by the Heads of Integrated Adult Care and Health Operations and Commissioning. 

4.2.4 If a more comprehensive review is required, then the Five-step New Policy Development process should follow see paras 4.1 to 4.5. 

4.3. Approval sought

4.3.1 Integrated Social Care Leadership are offered a brief overview of the policy request and approval is sought from the Head of Service of the relevant area, Operations or Commissioning.

4.4. Draft Policy

4.4.1 If approved, draft policy will be developed by the Policy Team working with others as appropriate using the policy template in Appendix 3.

4.4.2 Where required the Policy Team will work with the Involvement Manager and the Equalities and Outreach Team to identify whether an Impact Assessment is required. DCC has developed an online toolkit to support the development of impact assessments.

4.4.3 Internal consultation will be a key part of policy development. The Policy Team is represented at the Practice and Operational Process Group and has links to both CSLT and OSLT.  It is envisaged that policy drafts are presented at these meetings.  Other areas of DCC that may need to be engaged at this stage are Legal and the Staff Reference Group and user and carers groups.  The Heads of Integrated Adult Social Care Operations and Commissioning may also want to approach Cabinet Members during the development of policy.

4.4.4 During the early stages of policy development possible training requirements will need to be considered including training plans and strategies to support communication and implementation.

4.4.5 The Policy Team will take legal advice on the requirement to consult publicly. If an external consultation is required then the Policy Team, taking advice from the Integrated Adult Social Care Involvement Manager will agreed with the Heads of Integrated Adult Social Care Operations and Commissioning the nature, method and time period of the consultation.

4.4.6 Consultation documents will need to be produced and published alongside the latest versions of the Impact Assessment. Feedback from the consultation will be presented to the Heads of Integrated Adult Social Care Operations and Commissioning and the policy amended as necessary.  A DCC response to the consultation will need to be published and communicated to those who contributed to the consultation.

4.5. Sign-off and publish

4.5.1 The level of sign-off will be identified at the outset. The general principal is that new policies or significant change to existing policy are taken to OSLT or CSLT for officer sign-off from either of the Heads of Integrated Adult Social Care Operations and Commissioning.

4.5.2 Either of the Heads of Integrated Adult Social Care Operations, and Commissioning will decide in which instances Chief Officer or political approval is required. Where they decide this is required, they will seek approval from either the Chief Officer for IASC, the Lead Member for IASC, the Leader of the Council or Council Cabinet.

4.5.3 Minor changes to existing policies can be agreed by the Integrated Adult Social Care Policy Manager in consultation with the Senior Manager for Strategy, Policy, Performance and Involvement and the Principal Social Workers where needed.

4.5.4 All policy documents will be published on the public facing DCC website

4.6. Implementation and monitoring

4.6.1 All policy proposals and policy changes should be accompanied by an implementation and monitoring plan that identifies the Business Owner for the Policy. This plan should provide a proportionate outline of how implementation and communication will be managed and how the impact of the policy will be evaluated. See appendix 4.

4.6.2 Implementation and monitoring will not be managed by the Policy Team but may support the Business Owner in communicating the policy.

4.6.3 The Business Change Team and Workforce Development Team will need to be approached to map out the content of any relevant training required. An ‘Implementation Plan’ template (appendix 4) has been produced to guide the considerations and development of communication and implementation.

4.6.4 Policies will need to be communicated internally and externally including through the ASC newsletter.

Appendix 1: Key definitions

  1. Policy
  • Policy is a course or principle of action adopted or proposed by an organisation or individual
  1. Staff Guidance
  • Advice or information for staff aimed at resolving a problem or difficulty.
  1. Process map
  • A “process map” visually describes the flow of activities of a process. A process flow can be defined as the sequence and interactions of related process steps, activities or tasks that make up an individual process, from beginning to end.
  1. Strategy
  • A plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim.
  1. Procedure
  • A manner of proceeding; a way of performing or affecting something
  • A series of steps taken to accomplish an end.
  • A set of instructions to perform a specific task.
  • A set of established forms, steps or methods for doing things in an organisation or process.

Appendix 2: One page policy overview for Head of Service

This template should be used to support any recommendation to the Senior Manager for Strategy, Policy, Performance that a new policy should be developed.

Why is the policy needed?



What will be the outcome of the policy and how will it be monitored?



How will the policy change what we currently do?



Consultation requirements



Equality and Impact Assessment requirements



Level and place of sign off



What are the resource implications?



What are the broader considerations for DCC?



Are there any implications/interdependencies with other agencies e.g. NHS?



Policy Details

Version: 1.4

Strategic owners: Tandra Forster, Director of Integrated Adult Social Care and Keri Storey, Head of Integrated Adult Social Care Operations

Business owner: Damian Furniss, Senior Manager for Policy, Performance and Involvement 

Author: Mari Thynne, Senior Policy and Executive Support Officer 

Date of approval and commencement: January 2016

Last review date: October 2022

Last reviewer: Mari Thynne, Senior Policy and Executive Support Officer 

Next review date: October 2024