Adult social care services get innovative

An innovative approach to adult social care in West Somerset is benefitting local people and communities.

The pilot project has been running in the West Somerset area for the last nine months. The team have been working hard to change the way they work to help people keep or regain their independence and connect more with their communities. They are focussed on helping people to help themselves, so people can do the things that matter most to them and live the life they want to live.

Rather than concentrate on a person’s problems and issues the team focus on their strengths – what do they enjoy? What do they want to achieve? What support do they already have? This allows the team to identify solutions and make suggestions that really suit the person and how they want to live their life. The team are also being creative and looking less at traditional care and more at how people can be supported by people they know and their local community.

Regular local Community Connect drop-ins have been taking place across West Somerset to make it easier for people to have a conversation and get quick and useful advice.

The pilot has also seen adult social care services working closely with community agents, local care and support providers and community groups to share information and identify opportunities to improve services in the local area for people.

Watch a short film about how this innovative approach works in practice:

Cllr William Wallace, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care at Somerset County Council, said: “This innovative way of working is good for people and the community – good information, good conversations and good support equals a good life.”

“It allows us to promote independence and encourage people to fulfil their potential and live the life they want to live.” continued Cllr Wallace: “Some people’s needs can be best met by community support. Regular socialising, physical activity or a small home adaptation can make a big difference to keep someone healthy and well – without the need for traditional social care support.

“By working closely with the community and being creative the team is making a difference to people’s lives in the best way possible.

“This way of working will allow the service to be more sustainable and affordable for the future – but most importantly it is good for people. The work of the pilot is now being expanded and embraced by other areas of the county.”

The West Somerset Community Connect drop-ins currently take place in:

  • Williton at Becket House on the first Tuesday of every month, from 10am to 1pm.
  • Minehead at the Baptist Church on the first Friday of every month, from 10am to 1pm.
  • Nether Stowey at The Church Centre on the second Tuesday of every month, from 1pm to 4pm.
  • Watchet at The Santuary on the last Tuesday of every month, from 10am to
  • Williton Hospital every Tuesday, from 2.30 to 4.30pm.
  • A new drop-in is opening in Bridgwater at Admirals Landing, Docks, Bridgwater, TA6 3EX on Wednesday 15 March from 10am to 12noon.
  • And a new drop-in is planned to open at the Beach Hotel in Minehead

To see all Community Connect drop-in dates and venues go to: www.somerset.gov.uk/dropin