Bristol City Council has published a plan which sets out the new way it intends to work with care and support providers to transform services available for vulnerable adults.
This is the first time the council has published a plan of this kind and it comes in response to the challenges of having a growing aging population and people living longer with more complex needs.
Known as the Market Position Statement and aimed at the provider sector, including housing providers and community organisations, the document outlines the kind of services the council wants to plan, design and purchase from all kinds of different organisations in order to meet people’s changing needs.
It forms part of the council’s Better Lives Programme, which is a wide programme of work to help improve people’s lives by focusing on their strengths, helping them to lead more fulfilling and independent lives for longer.
Cllr Helen Holland, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “We spend a huge proportion of the council’s overall budget on adult social care, but that spend is not always where it needs to be. In order to invest more in some services, we must spend less on others and this new plan set how we will work with partners to deliver our vision of giving people the right support at the right time. We need urgent and radical change and we intend to bring everyone along with us on this journey to create a vibrant and sustainable provider marketplace which will benefit our citizens.”
Change has already started and last week Cabinet approved plans to invest over £1m more into home care services, which help people to stay living in their own homes and thereby reduce the need for residential care.
Helen continued: “As well as changing our focus, recruitment and retention of staff is a huge part of having a strong care sector. That’s why our investment in homecare will help increase the salaries of staff and we have also been investing in campaigns such as Proud to Care which raise the profile of careers in the sector.”
The plan was launched at a city-wide meeting of providers this week.
Dom Wood, Chief Executive Officer of 1625 Independent People, attended the event. He said: “With this new plan Bristol City Council has shown a commitment to clarity, openness and good planning for the market to be clear where and how they can contribute. There are parts of the Market Position Statement that cross over with our world at 1625 Independent People and I have not seen such a clear breakdown of need and plans before. I hope that this model can be replicated across commissioning areas, it has given us the ability to input into the areas which cross over with our work. It will be exciting to see each section covered move to its next steps.”
At the heart of the new plan is a commitment to partnership working and having an open dialogue with providers to solve the problems and share ideas about how to overcome financial challenges. The plan is available on the council’s website.