A new policy for protecting Reading’s most vulnerable adults has been adopted by the council.

Reading Borough Council (RBC) approved its latest Adult Social Care strategy for 2019-2022 on Monday.

The strategy will focus on enabling people to support themselves at home.

Councillor Tony Jones, lead member for Adult Social Care, said: “Local authorities are facing unprecedented pressures from a combination of reduced budgets and rising demand for services.

“In these challenging times we require a fresh approach and new thinking.

“RBC remains committed to supporting our residents with the right support, at the right time, in the right place, and increasing our focus on reducing the need for long term health and social care services, by putting in place more self-enabling support.

“This means developing a whole system approach which encourages people to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, so that healthier choices are accessible to everyone, and people get the support they need to stay active and feel they are part of a community.”

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The strategy, approved at the council’s Adult Social Care, Children’s Services and Education committee on Monday, will focus on:

  • Early intervention to enable people to retain independence in their own home
  • Developing more cost-effective ways of delivering social care
  • Further integrating health and social care
  • Working with partners to reduce demand for care, through supporting community prevention and self-help approaches

The council has slashed its Adult Social Care budget by £10 million since 2015, with £4 million cuts approved this year.

Cuts to central government funding, which will total £58 million by next year, have led to the council needing to slash funding in many areas to achieve a balanced budget.