Social Care Jobs To Go – But Services To Improve

People will get social care quicker under proposals by Devon County Council – but it could lead to job losses. Vulnerable people with more complex needs will have the most skilled and expensive resources faster.

The suggestions are part of a modernisation programme aimed at providing better services and more choice. The proposals would involve overhauling the council’s Care Management System and cause some office job losses, freeing more cash for frontline services. The county’s executive will consider a report on Tuesday, which would lead to consultation with staff and unions.

Currently teams across Devon provide care assessments in different ways, which can result in different standards of support and unnecessary delay. Teams spend around 40% of their assessment time with the most vulnerable people, while people with lower needs are trapped in the one size fits all’ process.

A county spokesman said: “We want to respond quicker to people’s request for assistance and believe we can by working more efficiently. We want to make the referrals and assessments process more consistent, fairer and with the flexibility to give people more choice and control over their support.”

The council wants new teams with common measures and specialisms to manage the process. It is also discussing better ways of providing commonly requested services that help people to continue living at home. Trials of the new system have already begun in parts of the county.

David Johnstone, Director for Adult and Community Services, said: “We have a highly skilled workforce, so we are keen for their involvement in planning the way our services develop. That is why we are entering a period of consultation about these changes. There will be new opportunities and new types of jobs for staff.

“We believe the pilot programme will show that it is a more efficient way of working, which requires fewer staff even though the outcomes will be more speedy and just as good for people.” He said job losses would involve natural wastage, redeployment, retraining and some redundancies.