Promoting independence: Our vision for adult social care in Devon 2023-28

Our ‘promoting independence’ vision and strategies were last updated in 2018/19 since when a lot has changed. For example:

  • we have been through the COVID-19 pandemic and are now facing the challenges of recovery
  • we are facing a cost-of-living crisis with inflation unpredictable and greater than increases in our income, making financial sustainability increasingly challenging for councils
  • the government published its vision for adult social care ‘People at the Heart of Care’ in 2021.
  • the Health and Care Act came into legislation in 2022 and introduced assessment of local authority adult social care functions by the Care Quality Commission
  • we have a new Chief Executive and a new Director of Adult Social Services bringing fresh insight into the council

We began a process of engagement and consultation in updating our vision and strategy in October 2022, and are grateful to the many colleagues and members of the council, partners and providers, and people who use services and their carers who have contributed to discussions during that time, leading to publication in June 2023.

While the conversations we participated in suggested the direction of travel indicated by our previous strategies were the right ones, there are changes in emphasis, such as:

  • beginning with the Think Local, Act Personal vision which many people say speaks to them
  • recognising that people want to live lives with a purpose that is meaningful to them including through employment and volunteering
  • emphasising the importance of the home and community that people live in, in maintaining their independence
  • putting more focus on housing with support options as people’s needs change
  • acknowledging that as technology develops, so we must make best use of it including how we deliver care
  • shifting from long-term care to short-term support that promotes independent living including through reablement, rehabilitation and recovery
  • understanding that transitions don’t just occur between childhood and adulthood but at different stages in people’s lives
  • realising that unless people feel safe and are having their basic needs met, they can’t make other changes in their lives
  • encouraging our own staff and all those who work in the health and care sector to adopt a culture of practice that is based on recognising people’s strengths

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With the publication of our updated vision and strategies, we can now focus on its delivery. We plan to publish our plans and the measures we will use to evaluate progress in the autumn of 2023.