Celebrating 70 years of adult social care

Published: Tuesday 9th October 18

This year the adult social care system is 70 years old. Wandsworth is celebrating and highlighting the value of adult social care and wants to recognise staff and service users.

Adult Social Care works with residents’ whole lives and enables them to retain their overall independence and quality of life.

The poor laws transferred to the 1948 National Assistance Act, and social care was established for vulnerable people. Later in 2014 the Care Act replaced the National Assistance Act.

Today Wandsworth Council helps thousands of people with care needs on a daily basis, with an army of staff providing vital support to older people, people with disabilities and vulnerable adults.

In recent years the council has made its services more personalised, providing care that meets the needs of each individual and giving people access to personal budgets to enable them to get the care that works best for them.

It has been working to integrate social care with local health services and the voluntary sector. The new Enhanced Care Pathway funds four local integrated health and social care teams, dedicated health and social care co-ordinators in GP practices and locally-based social workers, resulting in a marked drop in emergency hospital admissions.

Wandsworth also has one of the best record in London in ensuring support is given to residents so that they can be safely discharged from hospital and stay in their own home or community.

A social work academy has been set up for newly qualified social workers to attract high-quality staff to Wandsworth and there is more support for carers and investment in services to help people live independently at home.

The KITE Enablement service was praised by the Quality Care Commission earlier this year for the high quality of its support for people who have been discharged from hospital or whose health has deteriorated.

Wandsworth works closely with Leonard Cheshire Disability on the KITE service, and has close links with other key voluntary sector organisations including the Wandsworth Carers’ Centre. The charity One Trust runs a comprehensive network of day centres on behalf of the council for adults with complex care needs.

Cllr Ellis and Director of Adult Social Services Liz Bruce

Cllr Paul Ellis, cabinet member for health and social care, said the service has been transformed in recent years. “Despite the financial pressures being felt by all councils, we have invested in adult social care to ensure our residents continue to receive the high quality of care they deserve.

“The focus these days is on providing personalised care that helps people stay independent so we do all we care to ensure people get the care they feel works best for them in the comfort of their own home. Preventing unnecessary hospital stays is a priority, we work to enable all our residents – despite the complexity or severity of their needs – live as full a life as possible.”

Case studies

The Church Lane Complex Needs Hub in Tooting is run by One Trust. We spoke to Senior Care Officer Elizabeth and music therapist Maria

The voluntary sector plays a vital role. Shopmobility is run by Wandsworth Community Transport. Here Pat talks about how it helps her do her weekly shop. 

 Sue is a Shopmobility volunteer

 Don works for Wandsworth and Richmond councils and makes sure care is up to standard

 Andrew works for the team managing the financial side of things

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