New Role In Adult Social Services

{mosimage}The first commitment from the recent Our Health, Our Care, Our Say White Paper was delivered today when guidance on the new Director of Adult Social Services (DASS) role was issued by Ivan Lewis, Care Services Minister.

The new role will provide strengthened leadership, work on closer integration of health and social care as set out in the White Paper, and deliver strategic needs assessments. Best practice statutory guidance to help local authorities implement the new post has been sent to social services chief executives today.

Speaking in Leeds at the first of a series of nine regional White Paper events, Care Services Minister Ivan Lewis said: “Millions of people in England depend on the support of their local social services. That is why we need strong leaders to manage the needs of their local communities. Working in partnership with their counterparts in children’s services, the new Directors of Adult Social Services will ensure that the social care needs of everyone in the community are considered and are well managed.”

The new DASS will be on equal footing with Directors of Social Services and will be directly accountable to the Chief Executive.

David Behan, Chief Inspector of the Commission for Social Care Inspection said: “The guidance emphasises the key role of the DASS in driving improvements in the quality of social care services. The focus of the DASS will be in improving outcomes for those people who need care, help and support. Listening to people who use services; developing the workforce; commissioning new and innovative services; and developing partnerships and alliances, are central to the role.”

As part of the announcement, Ivan Lewis also announced the intention to introduce legislation to require local authorities to appoint a new lead member for adult services at the next opportunity. The lead member will have responsibility for coordinating the promotion of wellbeing, prevention of social exclusion and protection of vulnerable adults across adult services.

The nine regional White Paper events will address topics such as provision, commissioning, leadership, the role of the voluntary and independent sectors, local area agreements, individual budgets and integration of health and social care.