It is essential that Government reforms aimed at integrating health and social care “must align with other pieces of the reform jigsaw”, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has warned.
In its response ADASS said that it welcomed the vision contained in the Integration White Paper: Health and social care integration: Joining up care for people, places and populations and principles that indicate what the future of care and support might look like; providing scope for local decision-making based on strong engagement with local people and communities.
However, ADASS added: “These ambitions, plans and timescales must be realistic, and they must align with the other pieces of the reform jigsaw. This includes the Health and Care Bill, the adult social care reform White Paper (People at the Heart of Care) and Liberty Protection Safeguards, together with the review of the Mental Health Act, Building the Right Support, levelling up in the social context and other programmes.
“It is essential these reforms exist in one coherent plan – regardless of originating Government department – with sequencing, interdependencies and funding mapped out and understood by all stakeholders working to implement them.”
Local authorities and their partners must have sufficient time to prepare for these reforms, ADASS added.
“It is important that we seize the opportunity to invest in home and community – social care, primary, community and mental health services, so that people’s well-being and wellness are fully supported preventatively, putting a halt to crisis responses and the need for acute hospital care.”
The ADASS response to the consultation can be viewed here.