Agenda item

Managing Demand in Adult Social Care.


The Committee considered a report of the Director of Adult Social Care which provided an update on the current demand pressures faced by the Council’s Adults and Communities Department, including people waiting for care and support.  It also provided an overview of the Adults and Communities Demand Management Programme, and an update on the position of managing demand in October 2023. A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 9’ is filed with these minutes.


Arising from discussion, the following points and questions arose:


i.          A Member queried if the service was able to manage the forecasted 3% growth in service users. The Director reported that as well as an increase in demand there had also been an increase in dependency since the Covid 19 pandemic, as well as extra needs for people being looked after in the community for longer. The cost of home care and residential care had also increased and officers were seeing more court work, with more mental capacity and deprivation of liberty cases coming forward.  The result of this was that people might have to wait longer for their care packages to be put in place.


ii.          Members questioned and were reassured about the training and support provided to adult social care staff.  The Director confirmed that the Department was fortunate to have three qualified lead practitioners who supported staff with their professional development, to ensure they were able to keep up with professional registrations through training, and with twice yearly professional development days to focus on particular areas, such as new legislation. Members were pleased to note that unqualified staff also received the same level of training and career development day opportunities.


iii.          A Member questioned of the 6% growth in Home Care client numbers, how much was a result of Covid-19 exacerbating existing and new health issues. The Director reported that there were a number of factors at play.  These included people living for longer and therefore continuing to require care for longer. Also the number of people leaving hospital and requiring a social care assessment had increased, with the proportion going on to receive a service doubling in number. People were also requiring treatment for longer, and there appeared to be a higher level of need with people not recovering as quickly, which also lead to higher packages of care.


iv.          It was recognised that people who received home care and did not recover in the first twelve weeks were more likely to become dependent on the service. This was being addressed by early reviews being undertaken within that period to determine if people were able to regain their independence and services reduced.


v.          In response to a Members’ question, the Director reported that people in the 18 to 65 age range were receiving support earlier and there was a growing expectation that Adult Social Care would became involved earlier, particularly to help young people move towards more independent living. It was further noted that the service was seeing an increase in those suffering from early onset dementia, which was now presenting in the 60+ age range (previously only seen in those of 70 – 80 years plus), resulting in more younger ‘older’ people entering the system than before.


vi.          It was noted that the Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) to be presented to Cabinet in December would be based on growth figures and pressures as at September / October 2023.  Current figures around demand management work which would be available in November / December 2023 could not therefore be captured.  Discussions were being held with the finance team on how best to address this within the forthcoming budget.




That the report on Managing Demand in Adult Social Care be noted.


Supporting documents: