Suffolk approach

How we approach adult social care using our model of working Supporting Lives, Connecting Communities, how we work with others, and what you can expect from us.

If you are a Suffolk resident and over 18, we will be able to help if:

  • you need help and advice for yourself or someone you care for
  • you are already receiving care and support from Adult and Community Services (ACS)

We may also be able to help

  • if you are under 18 and want to begin to think about how your care and support needs will be meet as you move into adulthood

Our policy and procedure database is available for all.

Under the Care Act 2014, our responsibilities include:

  • providing you with good information and advice about care and support in Suffolk
  • helping you to find the services and support in your community which will enable you to remain living safely and independently at home
  • helping you to regain independence by offering short-term re-ablement and support such as assistive technology or equipment
  • arranging for you to have an advocate if at any time you have difficulty understanding things, and have no-one else such as family or friends to help
  • assisting and supporting vulnerable people, for example adults at risk of abuse or neglect
  • carrying out an assessment using eligibility criteria which may lead to you being offered a personal budget
  • if you aren’t eligible, telling you why, and offering information and advice about your options
  • financially assessing you for a contribution to your Personal Budget
  • providing information about, and possibly helping you to arrange for care services that will assist you to remain independent
  • reviewing your care at least annually, and discussing what’s working well and what’s not working well
  • carrying out Carers' Assessments and make sure that family carers can access services and support to help them maintain their caring role
  • providing you with information and advice on how to pay for your care
  • making sure that if you move to Suffolk from another area, there is no gap in your care

There have been significant changes to how care and support are offered following the passing of the Care Act in May 2014.

From April 2015, there is:

  • a new national level of care and support needs to make care and support more consistent across the country
  • new support for carers

More information can be found on our care and community database, Suffolk InfoLink

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The Care Act on Suffolk InfoLink


Or on the GOV.UK website

Our model of working, called Supporting Lives, Connecting Communities (SLCC), is based on providing you, or the people who care for you with:

  • help to help yourself and find information and solutions to help you meet your care and support needs, or to carry out your caring role
  • help to live independently at home for longer
  • help to regain independence by offering immediate short-term support, especially after a crisis or hospital admission
  • ongoing care and support for those who need it, including helping carers sustain their caring role if this is what they want

We do this by connecting and signposting you to what’s nearby in your local community:

  • working in partnership with voluntary organisations and other important services such as GPs, housing and hospitals
  • working with service-user led organisations so the customer voice is heard
  • making processes easy for all who use them
  • building on people’s strengths and thinking creatively with you about the outcomes you want to achieve and how you can achieve them
  • supporting and encouraging you to have greater choice and control about the sort of help and support when you want

And, most importantly, promoting your wellbeing and taking this into account in all our decision-making.

Supporting Lives, Connecting Communities is underpinned by the Mental Health Act 1983, the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and most recently the Care Act 2014.

We are looking at various ways to work more closely with the NHS so that we continue to meet our customer’s needs, alongside making sure that we a can  manage demand with increasingly limited resources. Some of the things we are looking into are:

  • removing duplication
  • combining resources
  • creating a system that is easier for people to use

Alliance Strategies in West Suffolk and in Ipswich and East Suffolk (LINK) show how we are already working closely with the NHS and other partners to do this. We would like to explore how this approach could be used throughout Suffolk to help meet our partnership working goals.

As part of this work it’s important that we look at the following:

Equal partners

We must establish shared priorities which work for all organisations - Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), Hospitals, Mental Health Trusts, Community Health providers, and GPs, and work towards these as equal partners.  

Wider partners

District and Borough Councils, the voluntary sector, Police, schools and other partners must also be involved to help change our approach and reach our goals.

A joint transformation agenda

It's important to develop a transformation plan with agreed priorities, agendas, and management. For example, a priority could be the development of clear care pathways/solutions for out of hospital care which are agreed by all agencies. They will need to be sustainable, affordable, and help with the management of demand in the whole health and care system.

Areas that we would like to make progress on are:

  • using digital technology throughout our systems and with customers
  • Integrated Neighbourhood working
  • working with community and other statutory groups,
  • building on the Out of Hospital teams to create an even more effective responsive community approach to crisis and urgent care

Prevention and early intervention

The Public Health team recently projected what health and care needs could look like in the next twenty years, which created a strong case for changing how we provide services. They concluded that if we continue to use hospitals in the same way we do now, we will need the equivalent of three new West Suffolk Hospitals across Suffolk to manage the demand.

Organisations need to work together to create a more preventative approach, to be involved in someone’s care earlier and more effectively. This approach would stop more complex or crisis care being needed, as people would get the help they need at an earlier stage. This model should be at the heart of our vision and requires all organisations to understand the need for closer working relationships.

If we get this right more health and care funding would be spent in the community, rather than in acute hospitals and longer term residential care. To achieve this, we urgently need to shift our focus and resources to look at the causes rather than the consequences of ill health and demand on long term care.


Our view is that integrated pathways would enable care closer to home and give people the right support at the right time, making the best use of the available money and other resources. This would help reduce the demand on expensive acute and long-term care. There is a need to work with partners to develop ideas for innovative projects and test the potential benefits of integrated care, managing demand differently throughout the system.

There is a need to move away from a single organisation focus on resources, so that we do not push cost and demand round the system but get the resources in the right place to manage demand and get better outcomes for people.