Adult social care in the context of the whole local authority and wider system

Theme 9: Delivering adult social care is not only the responsibility of the adult social care directorate; collaborating across the whole local authority, and with partners across the wider health and care system enables a holistic, effective and efficient approach to delivering care.

The successful delivery of adult social care relies on effective working with, and leadership from, wider functions and directorates within the local authority, as well as other organisations in the health and care system, including health and district councils in two-tier county areas.

This section considers two key overarching aspects:

  1. Services are built on effective partnerships with corporate functions (finance, business intelligence, HR, continuous improvement). This adds considerable value to service delivery by providing the right blend of capability, support and accountability, with minimal bureaucracy, to guide operational and strategic decision making.

Key findings:

  • In an optimised system, authorities have effective relationships with corporate functions, often through a business partnering approach.
  • These local authorities use high quality business intelligence and insight to underpin effective transformation and decision-making. Services take a data-driven approach to decision-making to leverage this insight to continually improve.
  • In partnership with other enabling functions, optimised authorities benefit from the role continuous improvement teams can play in improving the delivery of adult social care. This is delivered through a culture of collaboration and support, rather than being ‘imposed’ on a directorate.
  • Effective partnerships are enabled by a shared and collaborative culture across the local authority; a shared vision for the organisation as a whole; a leadership team that focuses on building productive relationships with partners; and robust, simple and transparent processes which minimise bureaucracy.

  1. Promoting independence is the role of the whole council and its partners as a system; this requires a shared vision across the authority and effective collaboration across directorates and with partners. 

Key findings:

  • In an optimised system, a local authority’s Management Board and Cabinet have a shared vision for the whole council which addresses the lives of people with care and support needs.
  • The leadership take a holistic approach, one that promotes collaboration and cohesion, and requires staff to be ‘outward looking’ at every level.
  • Optimised systems understand that the role of adult social care in any community is to ensure that the way the place is set up considers the needs of a range of individuals who might otherwise be excluded from the opportunities that are available.
  • Collaboration across the silos of departmental lines is required shift attitude, thinking and culture to ensure people understand physical barriers are often easily solved as opposed to those which are attitudinal and cultural.