Birmingham, 27th April 2018 - over 50 people came together from across health, children's and adults services to explore what we could do collectively to address some of our most pressing demand issues.

We may not have solved the problems in one go, but it was good to see senior leaders from health, children’s and adult social care services in one room talking about a common issue. It was also good to see how the different perspectives, thinking and drivers for change could be used to address the challenges, rather than be a source of disagreement.

We do need to take a long term, whole population approach, to change behaviour and attitudes – and childhood experiences and behaviour set the foundations for our adult health. The challenge of taking a whole systems approach to delayed transfers of care from hospital, is something which rightly we all need to play our part in as is the challenge of reducing demands on the other ‘acute’ services such as child protection.

If we address 25% of the problem by reducing the number of people needing in patient hospital care, and we address another 25% of the problem by solving the conundrum of how people are best supported so they can leave hospital, we also need to solve the remaining 50% through changes within the acute sector itself? We have to apply that same analysis to the issues of children and young people in acute settings and services across our systems.

It was heartening to hear the recurrent theme that by everybody working together with a strength based approach with children, families and communities, we can improve outcomes faster and hence manage demand away from high cost interventions.

The key question though remains how we do this. There was some support for a pilot looking at GP’s and hospitals using skype to work with people. I also sensed that the consensus was for more work within our own areas first perhaps supported by a regional workforce development programme.

One for our next ADCS meeting on the 1st June and further discussions with colleagues in adult services and health. I can’t wait.

Clive Jones, Chair of ADCS WM

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