County Councillor Graham Gooch

Adult social care market support group launched

The changing needs of adults who use social care and the ways providers can support them are being considered by a new county council group.

The Market Shaping and Commissioning Group met for the first time this week. Its role is to look at how Lancashire's care market currently operates and investigate how services can be modernised to offer the best choices for people who need support.

Challenges facing providers and the support available to ensure they can continue to operate effectively are also being considered.

Lancashire County Council commissions services from around 800 providers, who support more than 35,000 carers and adults in their homes, in the community and at various residential services.

The county council spends more than £456m a year to fund these services. In 2021/22, the council spent 40% of its annual revenue budget on adult social care.

County Councillor Graham Gooch, cabinet member for adult social care, said: "Adult social care is a huge service supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our county, so it's crucial that we work with our partners to ensure the right services are being provided.

"The county council has a crucial role to play in working with its partners to shape the care market, ensuring people who need support and their carers have access to a range of modern services.

"This new group, chaired by myself, will play a key role in ensuring we continue to provide a strong care market, with the right care and support services, in the right places, available at the right time."

This is a cross-party group and each councillor will consider the needs of a specific community, such as parents living with disabilities, people from ethnic minorities and the LGBT+ community.

Discussions at the first meeting covered the importance of supporting the care market to deal with some of the challenges it currently faces.

County Councillor Gooch added: "Challenges effecting the market include a backlog in social care cases following the Covid-19 pandemic, issues with recruitment and retention of care staff and pressures in home care.

"The group will research these issues and make recommendations on how we can support providers to address them.

"This builds on engagement we already have in place with our providers through quarterly meetings where we share information on trends, challenges and opportunities that exist in the sector."

For more information about adult social care services in Lancashire, visit the adult social care pages of the county council's website.