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  4. ASC Strategy - What Matters To You Action Plan: 2024/25

ASC Strategy - What Matters To You Action Plan: 2024/25

1. Right support, right place, right time:

1.1 We will: 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.

1.1 a) Review our existing work on personalised assessments and support and review national best practice and trends.
1.1 b) Ask residents why they don’t always experience contact with us as a two-way conversation, and work with them to identify better ways of communicating.
1.1 c) Improve how we assess and support people, including how we communicate and how our forms/systems can better reflect people’s strengths.
1.1 d) Support our staff to reflect on and implement good practice in assessments and support, things we ‘must’ do (we call this statutory duties), listening to residents; and the training they need.

1.2 We will:  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.

1.2 a) Review who (and how many) people are taking up training on topics most important to our residents. This will help us understand what might be stopping others from attending courses.
1.2 b) Identify which groups of people delivering care and support would most benefit from training on topics most important to our residents.
1.2 c) Try out new ways of delivering training on topics most important to our residents, make this more widely available, and increase uptake through better promotion of those courses.
1.2 d) Add to the existing resources on key subjects to upskill people who deliver care and support. Share with managers how these resources can be used in staff supervision.
1.2 e) Establish a workforce team to work creatively in the community to encourage more people to work in adult social care.
1.2 f) Continue to promote staff wellbeing and reduce sickness absence through better use of data and focussing on the staff who need the most support to stay well.

1.3 We will:  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.

1.3 a) Collaborate with NHS and Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise partners to understand barriers linked to health assessments/diagnosis which prevents us from referring people to support which comes from outside East Sussex County Council.
1.3 b) Explore how people not giving consent for us to pass their information onto services outside of East Sussex County Council can be a barrier to them accessing support.
1.3 c) Make sure our staff are aware of - and are using - our directories of care and support services, such as 1Space and the East Sussex Community Information Service.
1.3 d) Work with partners to develop and test ways in which we can overcome barriers to referring residents onto support outside of East Sussex County Council.
1.3 e) Review the impact that increased referrals or signposting people on to services beyond East Sussex County Council will have on our partners and providers and mitigate the impact on their services where feasible.

1.4 We Will:  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.

1.4 a) Create a ‘Life Transitions Service’ to help people prepare for and navigate changes in their later life.
1.4 b) Explore how we can enhance our adult social care transitions service and support young people and families through sustainable forms of care and support, such as adopting the 'Preparing for Adulthood' framework.

2. Information and communication about care and support

2.1 We will:  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.

2.1 a) Identify who would benefit the most from clearer information about what adult social care is and does.
2.1 b) Improve how those working in or alongside adult social care explain to people what adult social care is and does.
2.1 c) Understand where specific communication formats are needed to help people understand what adult social care is and does.
2.1 d) Launch a communications campaign to help people understand what adult social care is and does.

2.2 We Will:  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.

2.2 a) Explore how and when people need more timely updates/proactive information from us and set clear expectations about how long people might have to wait to access support.
2.2 b) Identify which solutions can help us provide timely updates to people about support they are receiving or have applied for.
2.2 c) Try out new ways to provide more timely updates to people and ensure this is done in an appropriate and cost-effective way.

2.3 We will: 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.

2.3 a) Identify suitable venues/activities which could host face-to-face sessions where people can access information about adult social care.
2.3 b) Agree what sort of adult social care information can be exchanged face-to-face and which staff are able to provide the information.
2.3 c) Find out where more support or alternative communication is needed to help residents access adult social care information face-to-face, such as those who distrust authority or feel shame in asking for help.
2.3 d) Try out adult social care drop-ins or appointments as a new way to provide face-to-face information in community venues.
2.3 e) Review how effective the face-to-face drop-in or appointments were at providing adult social care information and expand the number of these sessions if appropriate.

3. Cost of living and cost of care, now and in the future

3.1 We will:  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.

3.1 a) Better understand what already works or needs improvement in financial information, guidance and advice.
3.1 b) Develop digital resources to help us provide up-to-date information on financial support.
3.1 c) Improve how we record information when people are withdrawing from care because they can’t afford it.
3.1 d) Identify who would benefit from education or a tailored approach to help them access financial information and support.
3.1 e) Identify those who act as contact points for supporting people with money problems to ensure they offer them an appropriate level of financial information or support, and signpost to other information and advice services as appropriate.
3.1 f) Make digital information and support about Money Advice services on our cost-of-living webpages available in alternative formats.

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

3.2 a) Introduce clear definitions of information about money, money guidance, and general and specialist money advice to ensure people know where to get support and which services to go to.
3.2 b) Train staff and services on the difference between information, guidance and advice, and promote resources to help direct people to the right services for them.
3.2 c) Support district and borough councils to run campaigns to improve and maximise welfare benefit uptake.
3.2 d) Undertake a collaborative review of welfare benefit services to inform how East Sussex Welfare Benefits and Debt Advice services will operate from April 2025 onwards.
3.2 e) Work with residents and partners to focus our work on the wider factors that relate to financial exclusion (for example mental health, digital exclusion, improving service access, homelessness and rent arrears, low financial literacy) to seek ways to prevent debt and reduce poverty.

4. A suitable home

We Will: 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.

4.1 a) Work with key housing partnerships /projects to identify opportunities for joint working that are consistent with the aims of this strategy.
4.1 b) Identify more residents who could be referred to - and benefit from -occupational therapy clinics.
4.1 c) Identify opportunities to better support workers to identify risks in people's homes, respond appropriately, and signpost to additional support
4.1 d) Develop the range of assessments for community equipment our providers can offer and provide advice and self-assessment options for people who choose to buy equipment.
4.1 e) Expand the range of support available through our Technology Enabled Care service and explore opportunities to link data from this service into care planning.
4.1 f) Test innovative use of digital technology to enable people to live independently in suitable homes. Explore greater use of digital technology in people's homes where appropriate and effective.

4.2 We will:  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.

4.2 a) Work with housing associations and partners to help people know how to access safe accommodation services.
4.2 b) Work with the Voices of Lived Experience Board to understand and use opportunities to promote safe accommodation services to people in East Sussex.
4.2 c) Use social media, other public-facing and staff channels to help people know how to access safe accommodation services.
4.2 d) Go along, or support, community information and awareness-raising events to help people know how to access safe accommodation services.

5. Personal connections

5.1 We will:  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.

5.1 a) Begin our ‘stewardship’ approach with partners to addressing loneliness, including hiring a programme facilitator.
5.1 b) Benchmark our current understanding and evidence on loneliness in East Sussex and generate interest / investment in our work on loneliness from key stakeholders.
5.1 c) Try out new approaches to addressing and monitoring loneliness in East Sussex.

5.2 We will:  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.

5.2 a) Talk with a range of people, via a workshop, to review what support for carers is already working well and how we can improve that support in response to this strategy and other insight.
5.2 b) Develop a strategic carers' partnership plan with the NHS, Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise partners, and carers.

6. Group activities, hobbies and volunteering

We will:  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.

6.1 a) Work with Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise partners to work out which groups of residents’ experience barriers to accessing or being included in community activities. Review existing measures in place that make activities accessible and inclusive.
6.1 b) Create a voluntary self-assessment ‘accessibility checklist’ for community organisations and groups to help them understand how accessible or inclusive their activities are to residents.
6.1 c) Promote directories to residents who have experienced barriers to accessing/ being included in existing community activities, including ways they can identify activities that have used the 'accessibility checklist'.
6.1 d) Work with Active Sussex to investigate and understand how physical activity should be part of the support offered by us, partners and providers. Explore new ways to embed physical activity in the support offered by adult social care.

6.2 We will: 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.

6.2 a) Review evidence and insight on the barriers to taking part in formal volunteering and the barriers volunteer- involving organisations experience in getting people to come forward.
6.2 b) Develop a business case on the viability of increasing infrastructure funding to support services to host volunteers, in response to evidence and insight on the barriers to volunteering.
6.2 c) Link with our financial inclusion programme to identify opportunities to address the financial barriers people experience when trying to volunteer.
6.2 d) Explore inclusive ways to promote volunteering opportunities to people we seldom hear from.
6.2 e) Promote volunteering as a way people can engage with their passions, hobbies and share skills with their community.