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NCAS Conference – live blog, day two


Good morning Manchester!

Day 2 of the National Children and Adult Services Conference (#NCASc16… we think). IMPOWER will also be tweeting too at @IMPOWERCONSULT

8:30am – if you’re just joining the Conference, a round-up of the best bits from yesterday is here

9:00am – ICYMI, here’s the LGA’s Adult social care funding: 2016 state of the nation report 2016

9:10am – adult social care spending is going down, while demand continues to rise:

9:24am – Agree:


  • A colleague says “there’s a real thirst for more intel” – key focus on evidence, data and insight

10:40am – Listening to Emma Lewell-Buck MP on children’s services. Quotes recent NAO report ‘Children in need of help or protection‘ that “government changing structures to the detriment of the people delivering the service”. Changing structures not a bad thing per se, but we need the evidence that it works – for the taxpayer and for children

11:10am – CHALLENGE: How can we make social care a political priority?

12:00pm – pre-Lunch key messages from David Mowat MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health:

  • Social care funding a top priority. Dementia is particularly important to this government
  • Carers strategy to be published in next few months (carers should be on a par with GPs)
  • STPs a process not an event and will not go ahead without thorough consultation
  • Power of Whitehall needs to be reduced to liberate regions – reaffirms support for devolution

1:30pm – fascinating session on the Mental Capacity Act. Important for how services/councils engage with service users to promote independence. “Do not assume someone lacks capacity just because they make an unwise decision”

1:45pm – Interesting framing of social care from John Bolton this morning:

  1. Access and eligibility – the model two thirds of council’s are currently using, it is the most costly. Focus on traditional assessments
  2. Asset-based/community model – an evolving model. Lack of evidence that it reduces costs but it’s looking good
  3. Promoting independence – around 40 councils are using a preventative model of care. Proving to be the most cost effective. John then used Darlington and their ‘progression model’ as a case study that is reducing cost and improving outcomes for people with LD

Culture and behaviour change both key to models 1 and 2; shifting the mindset of both social workers, managers and citizens. If ‘promoting independence’ perhaps still politically seen as a cover up for service cuts then would be interesting to know how many Members were at the session…

2:05pm – It’s been great to catch-up with clients and chat public service reform… and pets

2:10pm – Keen to hear from this session: How are councils coping and what else can they be doing?

3:00pm – good session on the work Hertfordshire County Council are doing on integration. How investment in social care (to support people at home) is resulting in less demand in the health system, including:

  • Improved access to rapid support with care from the right professional
  • Better communication between people using services and health and social care professionals working as part of the same team
  • Reduced A&E attendance and unplanned hospital admissions or residential care
  • Rapid discharge from acute hospitals

Slides available from the SCIE website here

3:30pm – The unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) session was (sadly) a ‘closed’ session, but speaking to a colleague an interesting debate was had, talk of possible funds to help councils with the influx. Pressure now on Councils to find homes for this vulnerable cohort. IMPOWER have written about this here.

4:00pm – key points from Justine Greening:

4:35pm – Edward Timpson keynote. Key points:

  • Support for social impact bonds in children’s services
  • Fostering stocktake to include consideration of support for foster carers
  • Focus on relationships and networks for care leavers (innovation funding)
  • Strong, smart commissioning essential for foster care and care placements (our report on a resource allocation system in children’s services a good first step)
  • Seven corporate parenting principles to be developed in law

7:30pm – Catching up with clients, colleagues and friends at the IMPOWER dinner:


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IMPOWER is an organisation driven by a social purpose. We are a values led consultancy dedicated to the reform of the public sector.



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