Meet our ADASS East of England Branch Chair

Tandra Forster

Our Branch Chair is Tandra Forster Executive Director for Adults and Communities at Southend on Sea Borough Council

Who is ADASS?

ADASS is the association of directors of adult social services. We are a charity that aims to further the interests of people who draw upon social care by promoting high standards and influencing the development of social care legislation and policy.

The ADASS East Region has eleven Adult Social Care Directors and is supported by the ADASS East regional improvement team which is responsible for identifying opportunities for regional collaboration on improvement to help to ensure we respond to what matters to people accessing care and support services.

We would like to ensure “people can live in a place they call home, with the people and things they love, in communities where we look out for one another doing the things that matter”.

What do we do?

The Association of Directors of Social Services (ADASS) in the East of England are fully committed to improving performance and achieving better outcomes for individuals. This website has been developed to improve communication about how we are responding to key challenges for local government across the region.

There are eleven local authorities serving adult social care in the East of England.  The eleven local authorities are: Bedford Borough Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, Central Bedfordshire Council, Essex County Council, Hertfordshire County Council, Luton Borough Council, Norfolk County Council, Peterborough City Council, Southend Borough Council, Suffolk County Council and Thurrock Borough Council.

Since 2011, Local Authorities are no longer inspected by the Care Quality Commission but are accountable to a programme of Sector Led Improvement (SLI). We individually and collectively believe that it is our responsibility to ensure that the information and support we provide and our collective ambition will improve people’s experiences. We believe that Sector Led Improvement sits at the very heart of our aspirations to share best practice and support the whole Health and Social Care system to meet people’s needs in the most effective and positive way.

We are very committed to the Sector Led Improvement approach which we believe will stand us in good stead for the forthcoming new Regional Assurance process and any frameworks associated to this.

Our Sector Led Improvement approach, incorporates peer support and challenge, encourages collaborative working within the region, where this adds value, and provides greater evidence-based challenge through our specialist regional networks.

Through our SLI programme:

  • Councils are responsible for their own performance and improvement and for leading the delivery of improved outcomes for local people in their area
  • Councils are primarily accountable to local communities (not to government or inspectorates) and stronger accountability through increased transparency helps local people drive further improvement
  • Councils have a collective responsibility for the performance of the sector as a whole

What are our priorities for improvement?

  • System management and partnership: to work proactively with NHS and other system partners to address system pressures and challenges, and including those related to the present pandemic.
  • Markets: to further develop our understanding of the adult social care market across the East, to support increased resilience and improved quality in the short-term; sustainability in the medium term; and transformation (in e.g. innovative and micro-commissioning, coproduction, and community prevention and asset-based approaches) in the longer term.
  • Finance: to continue to support Local Authorities across the East to respond to changing financial requirements and increasing demands, and to pro-actively prepare for future challenges and opportunities.
  • Sector Led Improvement: to continue our annual cycle of SLI assurance and improvement, including external and peer challenge, and regional and national benchmarking.

What East of England Improvement Networks are in place to deliver the above priorities?

Programme planning

  • ADASS Eastern Branch
  • Assistant Directors
  • Improvement Board
  • Intelligence Group

Specific networks to support delivery

  • All Age Autism
  • Carers
  • Contracting and Quality
  • Day Services
  • Digital
  • Finance
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Markets & Commissioning
  • Markets & Housing
  • Markets & Workforce
  • Mental Health
  • Prevention & Personalisation
  • Principal Social Workers
  • Safeguarding
  • Transfers of Care

What’s the aim of the website?

It is the aim of this website to provide an opportunity to seek the views of people working in or drawing on adult social care services across the region and provides information, practice reports, and events publicity. Good communication has become even more important over the last few years during difficult times, such as the pandemic.

Please keep visiting our website as we continue to add more items of interest.

Thank you, the Regional ADASS Improvement Team