A new report has been published into adult care and support in Northern Ireland. Power to People: proposals to reboot adult care and support in NI has been produced by an expert advisory panel, which includes Des Kelly OBE and John Kennedy.
The Panel was established by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland in December 2016 as part of the its Reform of Adult Care and Support project.
The report outlines the panel’s independent analysis of the current system of support and identifies priority areas for reform. While recognising that there are some positives within the current system, there are priority areas for reform. These include raising the profile of social care, increased emphasis on giving control to service users and supporting family carers, and building on existing supports within communities.
The report also calls for improved conditions for the social care workforce, and for an appraisal of the true cost of providing care and support.
These reforms, the report says, should be considered in the context of a society-wide debate on the roles and responsibilities of individuals, families, communities and government within a reformed system of support.
The Panel’s report into adult care and support in Northern Ireland identifies 16 proposals for change along the following themes:
- The value of social care.
- The citizen at the heart.
- Family carers – vital partners for social care
- Building resilient communities.
- The professional workforce in social care.
- The market for care.
- System alignment – making integration meaningful.
- Towards a new concordat.
Northern Ireland Chief Social Worker Sean Holland said, 'I welcome the panel’s important analysis and thank panel members Des Kelly and John Kennedy for their views and recommendations.
'It is clear that, to remain sustainable, adult care and support services will have to undergo significant change. Those changes are best considered within the context of system-wide transformation in-line with the ten-year plan for health and social care transformation, set out in Health and Wellbeing 2026, Delivering Together.
'The panel has been clear about the need for carers and service users to be brought into the heart of transformation, and for a wider debate within society. As a first step, therefore, the Department intends to discuss with stakeholders about how best to ensure all voices are heard in developing an effective way forward through co-production. With this embedded, the next stage in the process will be to develop an action plan setting out the response to the panel’s report. It is intended that the action plan will be issued for public consultation after extensive engagement and consultation.'