Adult social care strategy

Overview of 'What Matters To You'

'What Matters To You' is our adult social care strategy, a plan to enable care, support, and independence for adults across East Sussex.

Written and first published in 2023, it sets out what our residents who need care and support, their carers and families told us were important to them to live well. The strategy guides residents’ understanding of what adult social care is, outlines our six key priorities and explains how we will take those priorities forward in planning for the future of adult social care in East Sussex. 

What is adult social care, anyway? Is it care homes? Is it care within your own home? Is it helping people to leave hospital safely? Is it services around domestic abuse, homelessness and substance misuse? It’s all that and more.

What is a strategy? A strategy is a long-term plan that describes how we want something to look like in the future, and how changes will be put in place to build on the way things are now. For this strategy, it is a plan about the future of adult social care in East Sussex.

What adult social care in East Sussex looks like right now. 559,000 people live in East Sussex. The population is predicted to increase by 4.1% by 2032.  There is a higher proportion of people aged 65 and over compared to other places in the UK. There are an estimated 69,241 unpaid carers in East Sussex. The most common primary reason for drawing on care and support is having a learning disability for working age adults, and needing personal care for older adults. In 2022/23 East Sussex County Council budgeted £306.4 million for adult social care, 33.3% of our overall gross budget.[1]

How we developed this strategy. We wanted this plan to be driven by what people told us were their priorities, rather than what professionals might think people need. Our Citizens’ Panel helped us identify ways to reach local people. Over 500 people who need care and support, their carers and family members responded to surveys telling us what was important about adult social care. 186 people took part in focus groups or one-to-one interviews, telling us why things were important about adult social care, and how they wanted our help. Using all the feedback from local people, and with the help of our Citizens’ Panel, we agreed six priorities for this strategy. We engaged with staff who work within or alongside adult social care to agree how we respond to the six priorities.

Our six priorities are:

  1. Right support, right place, right time
  2. Information and communication about care and support
  3. Cost of living and cost of care, now and in the future
  4. A suitable home
  5. Personal connections with others
  6. Group activities, hobbies and volunteering

How we will respond: our ‘we will’ statements.

We will…

1.1   Build on our approach to personalised assessments and support, learning from residents’ experiences so that people feel treated as individuals and experience their contact with adult social care as a two-way conversation between resident and worker.

1.2 Work with care and support providers to respond to workforce constraints, such as supporting organisations to be well-led and overcoming barriers to taking up training.

1.3 Build on the ways our staff enable residents to access timely support for physical, mental health and emotional wellbeing, including support beyond those services available from East Sussex County Council.

1.4 Help people through key changes at different stages of life, including helping people prepare for and navigate changes in later life and supporting young people to prepare for adulthood.

2.1 Use clear and inclusive language and alternative formats to explain to residents and partners what adult social care offers, including how and when to contact East Sussex County Council.

2.2 Find new ways to provide timely updates to people about the services they are getting, or have applied for, such as using digital tools and information generated automatically.

2.3 Make sure there are places in the community available to support people to get and return information about care and support services, including help with online financial assessments.

3.1 Improve how staff and services direct people to financial information, guidance and advice, and identify people who are withdrawing from care because of financial barriers.

3.2 Improve how we support people around welfare benefits and debt management.

 4.1 Co-ordinate the information, advice and support people receive to live in homes suitable for their needs by exploring different ways of working, improving access to equipment and testing new and innovative ways that modern technology can enable people to live independently.

4.2 Work with partners and residents to promote the safe accommodation and support available to people at risk of abuse using a range of channels and methods.

5.1 Bring services and communities together around neighbourhoods and/or groups of people with shared needs and interests to develop access to, and availability of, activities and other support aimed at addressing loneliness.

5.2 Work with social care providers to engage with and support carers, building on the tailored support available to connect groups of carers with shared needs and interests.

6.1 Enable people to connect with communities, get active and live well by working together with residents and community organisations / groups to identify and develop inclusive and accessible activities.

6.2 Reduce barriers to people accessing volunteering, or barriers for service providers in hosting volunteers, including developing ways to promote volunteering around people’s passions and hobbies.

How will we know this strategy is making a difference? We will adapt the way feedback is gathered from people receiving adult social care services so that it links to our six priorities. We will also work with partners and other service providers to help residents (including those not receiving services) to share their experiences of those priorities. We will also explore how other evidence could measure the progress of our ‘we will’ statements.

But what about…? We want to recognise other aspects of adult social care as important, which were not highlighted by most residents we engaged with on this strategy. This includes safeguarding, a range of public health support, integrating health and social care services, and more. This strategy doesn’t sit on its own in isolation. It aligns with key strategies and plans such as the Council Plan 2023/24l; our Healthy lives, healthy people: East Sussex Health and Wellbeing Board strategy and the Sussex Integrated Care System strategy Improving Lives Together - Sussex Health and Care.

To get in touch with us, find support, or find jobs in adult social care: more information is in sections eight to ten of the full version of the strategy.

[1] References and further details on all information listed in this paragraph is included in section two of the full version of the strategy

The full version of the adult social care strategy is now available

The full version of the adult social care strategy is now available.

The adult social care strategy in a format to suit you

To make the strategy as accessible as possible it is available in a variety of formats: 

Alternative languages

If you would like to request this information in an alternative format or language, please contact


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که تاسو غواړئ چې په دې معلوماتو باندې پوهیدو په اړه ستاسو مرسته وکړى شي، د مثال په توګه، که تاسو غواړئ چې په بله طریقه یا ژبه کې د دې معلوماتو غوښتنه وکړئ، نو

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