A plan to transform adult social care in Swindon has been approved.

The adult service’s strategy, which runs for the next five years until 2029, was introduced to Swindon Borough Council’s ruling Labour cabinet by councillor Ray Ballman.

And the member for adults made it clear that a significant change is in the offing.

Her introduction to the strategy said: “Good care and support makes a positive impact on the lives many people, enabling them to live in a way that they choose, maintain independence and reach their potential.

“However, the enormous contribution care and support makes to our lives as individuals and to us all, as a society, remains invisible and undervalued. The context in which local government and the wider public sector is operating continues to be very challenging.

“Rising costs, workforce shortages and backlogs throughout the health and social care system have affected Swindon, our citizens and meant that we are having to deliver more with less.

“Adult social care is more than the gatekeep of services. Its purpose is to be transformative and this is the objective of the 2024-2029 strategy. Our positive vision for the delivery of adult social care services in Swindon is to ensure that people are enabled to live their lives and are not considered to be ‘service users.

And Clare Deards, the director adult services at the council, said: “Adult social care exists to enable adults of all ages and with a range of conditions to live their best life, either at home, or somewhere away from their home.

“When done well it can be transformative. It is this transformation that the 2024-2029 vision and strategy for adult services seeks to inspire.”

Part of the strategy is the development of a ‘working together plan;’ which was also agreed by cabinet.

It says: “People with lived experience of care needs and/or services are best placed to advise on what works, what doesn’t work, and how a decision might impact their lives; and we treat them as experts.

If we don’t treat people as the experts in their own lives, we risk getting it wrong and it having a negative impact on people’s lives.”

The plan says that users of care services “are not just people with care needs, they are people with lives.  They are experts in their own lives, they are as important as anyone else and their thoughts and opinions matter.

“They will feel heard, listened to and know how they can get involved.”