Swindon Borough Council media release logo

It is a vital service that many residents may come to rely on at various points in their adult lives.

And with more and more people likely to need support from adult social care, Swindon Borough Council is seeking views on a new strategy designed to improve the service for residents over the next five years.

At present, more than 2,000 people in Swindon receive some kind of support from the Council’s Adult Services department. A diverse range of care is provided. This includes things like personal care, where support is provided with washing, dressing or getting out of bed, or adaptations that are made to people’s homes to help them maintain their independence.

It can also include providing care so people can continue to live in their homes as well as support in day centres, helping people to stay active and engaged in their local communities.

There are also more people with long-term conditions, and many people are living longer with those conditions.

This can make ensuring the right care and support is available more challenging. At the same time, more people aged under 65 have long-term conditions or disabilities, increasing the number of people needing help.

With Swindon’s population set to grow by more than the national average up until 2030 and with the number of people aged 85 years and older set to increase by 4,000 over the same period, it is likely that the number of people who require this vital support will also grow in the years to come.

As a result, the Council has set out how it aims to help adults of all ages with a range of conditions to live their best lives, either at home, or somewhere away from home.

The draft Adult Services Strategy 2024-29 sets out a clear expectation that staff working on behalf of residents ensure that the people they care for have “Lives, not Services”.

The draft strategy has been informed by the Adult Social Care White Paper “People at the Heart of Care” (2021), and focuses on three main areas – Choice, Empowerment and Personalisation.

This includes offering residents real choice about how they arrange their care and support, in a way that suits them and their family, and giving them more control over the way their services are delivered. This is also known as self-directed support.

The Council also wants to give residents the confidence to make their own decisions on what support they need to promote their independence and help them lead a fulfilling life.

Under the draft strategy, residents will also be encouraged to take control of their care themselves with more of an emphasis on their rights, dignity and well-being.

The draft strategy also outlines 10 strategic priorities to create an inclusive and effective social care system.

Residents are encouraged to actively engage with the consultation process, providing valuable insights and feedback that will shape the final version of the strategy.

Clare Deards, the Council’s Director of Adult Services, said: “Our draft strategy for Adult Services represents a commitment to putting people at the heart of care. We aspire to create an environment where individuals can live their best lives, supported by a responsive and empowering social care system.

“We will focus on what people can do, what informal support networks they can draw on and what resources and opportunities there are in the community, before we look to funded support.

“As evidence shows from both Swindon and other parts of the country, this improves outcomes for people as they are enabled to live enriched and purposeful lives, whilst they retain and maintain a greater level of independence.”

Councillor Ray Ballman, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Services, added: “This strategy is about more than just services; it’s about transforming lives. I would really urge residents to participate in the consultation process, ensuring that their voices shape the future of adult social care in Swindon.

“Our positive vision for the delivery of adult social care services in Swindon is to ensure that people are enabled to live their lives and are not considered to be ‘service users’. Our strategy sets out the simple but fundamental enablers required to support everyone to have a good life, home, friend and a purpose and are underpinned by the principles of choice, empowerment and personalisation.”

Residents can read the draft strategy and take part in the consultation by visiting the Council’s website.