Rebalancing Adult Services

The Department of Health and Social Care has recently initiated a major change programme called Rebalancing Adult Services. It is aimed at ensuring that there is high quality accessible care for Manx people now and in the future.

Currently Social Services delivers services to provide care and support for a wide range of people who are in need of help due to age, disability, family situation or ill health. These services help maintain or improve the quality of life and wellbeing of the people we help.

In addition, the people who use our services tell us that they want to be as independent as possible, and this is based on choice and individual preferences. Most people do not want to be reliant on Social Services but rather need our help in order to be more independent and feel part of their community. We help them to access the facilities and opportunities – educational, recreational, employment – available to the rest of the population.

However in order to maintain the current high quality services and to meet increased future demand, we need to change what we deliver, to whom and how.

The last census shows that the percentage of older people in the population is increasing and that in the next 15 years the number of people over retirement age will have increased by 50%. We also know that the number of people living with a disability, while not on the same scale as older people, is increasing, and that the complexity of the issues many people face is greater than in the past. Therefore it is vital for us to do 3 things in planning, developing and delivering Social Services:

  1. Targeting our services on those in greatest need. To do this we have clear eligibility criteria, which we need to apply to all those people who need our services.
  2. Ensure we make the best use of the resources we have available. It is essential that we are able to continue to provide and commission services for people for the future, and this means reducing the amount we spend on the most expensive services to more cost effective forms of support. As a result, we need to develop services to support people at home or in semi-independent living units, and reduce our reliance on residential care.
  3. To make a reality of this, we must invest more in early intervention or preventative services that reduce the need for more intensive care later on. This is a significant challenge as we must shift resources from the services we currently provide, and to reduce the acceleration in the growth of demand by intervening early to prevent people from needing more intensive care later.

This is not just about money. The expectations of those who use our services are changing. If we consider the kind of services that were available to us all 20 years ago, we all take for granted that services have been developed to change in line with our expectations. This should be no less so for the people who need help from Social Services. People have told us that they want to stay in their homes and communities for as long as possible. In order to deliver this, we will have to develop innovative, flexible and responsive ways of meeting needs. In this section of the website we will keep you up to date with the changes we are making.

In addition if you wish to add your ideas and suggestions, or have any queries, you can email us at Rebalancing and we will direct your query to the person best able to respond.

The most recent and previous versions of the Rebalancing Adult Social Services Newsletter are available for download.