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FOUR-STRONG TEAM: ‘manage demand’ for adult social care

FOUR-STRONG TEAM: ‘manage demand’ for adult social care

Bolton Town Hall, Image: LDRS

Bolton Council is to hire a four-strong team to help ‘manage demand’ for social care packages in order to cut £3.5m from their budget.

The council’s Conservative controlled cabinet has agreed to use £354,000 from its cash reserves to fund the four fixed terms posts for the next two years.

This week the cabinet were presented with an internal report about the situation in Bolton titled ‘Social Care Transformation Strategy – Managing Demand’.

The purpose of the report was to ‘set out the current and predicted picture for adult social care and the increasing demand being placed on services’.

It promised to ‘propose a transformational approach to managing demand and improving the offer of support to local people’.

In its agreed budget for the years 2021/22 and 2022/23 Bolton Council agreed to overall savings of £37.2m.

Around £3.5m of that over the two years was to be found from decreased spending on adult social care.

The report, stated: “A one-off investment of £353,929 over a two-year period is required to create a dedicated review team that will focus on reviewing care packages to look for opportunities to maximise technology, alternatives to care and ensure people receive optimum care in the right place.

“This investment will fund four additional social worker and community assessment officer posts for a fixed two-year period and will be funded through the use of reserves.”

The report, added: “The transformation strategy will assist in contributing to savings and efficiencies of £3.5m to the budget option identified as ‘care packages and placements demand strategy’ in the February 2021 budget report to council.

“A structured approach will be taken to ultimately reduce the overall cost of care for adult social care.”This is an ambitious ask and will entail a new way of working to meet the needs of Bolton people effectively.”

The report said that ‘the current position for adult social care is unsustainable and therefore there are no alternatives than to consider a transformational approach’.

The principles of the transformation strategy were set out in the cabinet report as ‘managing demand that is avoidable’, that being demand that can be better met by other means, ‘managing demand that is preventable’ by earlier intervention, managing demand that is created elsewhere within the same system and what is termed ‘market position statement’, which is supporting providers by identifying the future demand for care and the commissioning of appropriate services.

The report also highlighted that as well as the financial challenge that demand for adult care was set to rise.

It stated: “Bolton has a growing and changing population, which will reach 300,000 over the next decade, with increasing numbers of both older people and those living with complex long-term conditions.

“Bolton’s health inequalities and financial pressures, exacerbated by the pandemic, make a compelling case for the need to work differently in partnership across health, care and wellbeing services to address the
challenges faced.

“In Bolton the number of years a person is expected to live not in good health is 15 years for men and 22 years for women.

“This means demand for services is predicted to increase.”

The cabinet endorsed the transformation strategy and approved the use of £353,929 reserves to fund additional fixed term posts.


Words: Chris Gee, Local Demcoracy Reporter

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