Following the removal of national targets and assessments, councils are working through the opportunities and challenges of self-regulation, improvement and innovation in adult social care.
The Local Government Association (LGA) is working with partners to develop a programme for sector-led support in adult services:
This will focus on promoting excellence and harnessing the skills of local authorities. Its core elements – regional working, robust data, annual self-reporting and peer challenge – are consistent with the sector's wider approach to improvement.
The peer challenge process aims to help local government to help itself to respond to the changing agenda for adult social care. Undertaken from the viewpoint of a friend, albeit a 'critical friend', peer challenge allows a team of people who understand the pressures of running a local authority to review the council's practices in a challenging but supportive way. It:
It is a constructive, collaborative and supportive process with has the central aim of helping councils improve. It is not an inspection, nor does it award any form of rating category.
Every council and partnership is different and the challenge team will ensure the challenge is individually tailored to the needs and priorities of each local authority. Adult Social Care peer challenges can also be tailored to look specifically at adult social care transformation, safeguarding and other specific issues.
The Adult Social Care peer challenge has been piloted in local authorities and the key questions used as a basis for the challenge have been tested with the sector.
Over time, the LGA will use the learning from the reviews to build up a body of good practice, which can then be used for sector-led improvement throughout the sector.
The peer challenge approach has been successfully delivered on more than 1,000 occasions in local authorities.
It will include the following stages:
A standard peer challenge team is typically made up of at least five people:
The LGA will recruitment and select suitable peers and ensure you are happy with the peer team. The LGA is responsible for the training and placement of peers right across the local government sector. We have recruited specialist social care peers who have been trained in the areas required for peer work, namely:
The present cost of an Adult Social Care peer challenge is Â£7,800 plus reasonable expenses.
If you have any queries or would like to discuss the Adult Social Care peer challenge, please contact:
Local Government Association
Telephone: 07766 252 853
10 August 2012