Gateshead Council's vision and investment in Adult Social Care
Gateshead Council is a visionary and ambitious local authority - ambitious for Gateshead the place, and for the people who live and work here.
We have made significant investment into our adult social care service and are also embarking on a major transformation programme.
As a result, we have created a number of new and exciting roles to manage the Council's approach to its residents 'Living Thriving Lives', as part of our strategic approach 'Thrive'.
Gateshead's vision for Adult Social Care
Working in Gateshead you will find colleagues committed to developing strategies with the people of Gateshead to build an understanding of their life experience, strengths and aspirations. There is a commitment to working in a strength-based way and understanding the inequalities in our local area and how these impact on the life experiences of the people living here.
We feel that we have a great pedigree of leading and developing Adult Social Care services, but the disruption brought about by COVID-19 has allowed us to do things differently. This freedom to innovate has led us to reflect - deeply and collectively - about what Adult Social Care is and what it should be.
We are on a strength-based journey and now is an exciting time in developing our approach to assessment and the conversations that we have with the people that approach us for support. All our adult services teams have a shared understanding of the Department of Health and Social Care Practice Framework and Practice Handbook (2019) and have been part of strength-based workshops. They will be working collectively over the coming months, in conjunction with people who use our services and our partners, to further develop our 'Living Thriving Lives' model. We are striving to be a Learning Organisation and we offer a comprehensive training programme for practitioners and leaders, alongside CPD support and opportunities with career development.
Steph Downey Service Director for Adult Social Care said:
"I'm really proud of how our colleagues and teams have responded to the challenges we've experienced during the Covid-19 Pandemic; proud but not surprised, as we have an amazing and supportive team here in Gateshead, with great partnerships that have helped not only cope over the last six months in particular, but to continue to innovate and learn. I'm delighted that we have been able to invest in our Adult Social Care services, and to develop some new and exciting roles and opportunities. If you have a passion for delivering high quality care and support, enabling people to live thriving lives, whilst working with supportive and dynamic teams, then Gateshead could be your next employer."
Adults with care and support needs, regardless of their background, are at the heart of everything we do to ensure they can thrive and meet their full potential. Our vision is informed by the adult social care business plan and the overarching council Thrive Agenda.
The 'Thrive' pledges have been developed as a policy direction to inform how we deliver services and they place people in need at the heart of everything we do.
Senior leaders and elected members are clear Gateshead will be a place where everyone thrives. If we are to achieve this a radical rethink is needed about the way we work as a council, the way we spend money, the way we work with partner organisations and how we work with our local people and communities. We want everyone in Gateshead to be involved in this transformation.
We have five pledges to help guide us when we make decisions. This is the start of a new era and we have made our pledges for a fairer Gateshead.
- Put people and families at the heart of everything we do
- Tackle inequality so people have a fair chance
- Support our communities to support themselves and each other
- Invest in our economy to provide sustainable opportunities for employment, innovation and growth across the borough
- Work together and fight for a better future for Gateshead
Keeping adults safe and giving them a voice
Our job in adult social care is to make sure we protect individuals from harm and promote their wellbeing. They must feel as safe and secure as possible, we need to ensure that we have the basics in place to keep adults safe in Gateshead.
Our social work values
Our social work values are very much aligned to the Social Work England professional standards. The professional standards are the threshold standards necessary for safe and effective practice:
- promote the rights, strengths and wellbeing of people, families and communities
- establish and maintain the trust and confidence of people
- be accountable for the quality of my practice and the decisions I make
- maintain my continuing professional development
- act safely, respectfully and with professional integrity
- promote ethical practice and report concerns.
All of our direct care services follow the Care Quality Commission Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs) principles:
Safe - people are protected from abuse and avoidable harm
Effective - people's care, treatment and support achieves good outcomes, promotes a good quality of life and is based on the best available evidence
Caring - the service involves and treats people with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect
Responsive - services meet people's needs
Well-led - the leadership, management and governance of the organisation assures the delivery of high-quality and person-centred care, supports learning and innovation, and promotes an open and fair culture.
Well led leadership
In Gateshead effective management and team leadership are essential to the delivery of high quality care. Being an excellent leader and manager in social care is a challenging role and to provide high quality care, leaders and managers are needed at every level. This is a multi-faceted role, and everyone is equipped differently to be effective, not only are leaders and managers responsible for supporting those who need care and support but for taking care of colleagues and influencing the quality of care across the sector and the wider system.
We are running a leadership programme in partnership with the North East Leadership Academy, to offer key insights, knowledge and skills and learning to better manage, perform, motivate and ultimately become a successful leader. The programme covers 5 modules which leads people to reflect on their practice, learn coaching techniques and manage change within teams.
Values based recruitment
We are looking to develop values based approaches to recruitment (and retention) to enable us to find and keep people who have the right values and attitude to work in care.
Our enablement framework covers three core areas:
This framework gives adults the opportunity and confidence to relearn and regain some of the skills they may have lost because of poor health, disability or after a spell in hospital helping to offer individuals independence to enjoy a full and active life.
Person centred approaches
In Adult Social Care this is our way of thinking and doing things that sees people using health and social services as equal partners in the planning, development and monitoring of their care to ensure that it meets their needs. It involves working with people and their families to find the best way to provide their desired care and standards.
Strengths based approaches
Promoted within the Care Act, strengths-based approaches focus on an individual's strengths and talents and are outcome focused. We have begun our journey to develop strengths-based approaches right across the Adult Social Care service to ensure they put individuals at the centre of everything they do. Working closely with the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and learning from the work of our Achieving Change Together Team, who work in a strengths based way, the service is working towards developing a strengths based approach which will improve the health and well-being of our service users.