Consultation on The Reform Of Adult Social Care

Consultation opened on 26 January 2022. Closing date 01 July 2022.


The Minister has agreed that the consultation has been extended to close on 1 July 2022 at 17:00, the original closing date was 18 May 2022, the impact assessments will be consulted on for the same period.

Adult Social Care is a vital part of our Health and Social Care System and impacts on the lives of people across society including people who use social care services, family carers and the people who work in social care.

The current pandemic has shone a light on the invaluable role social care plays in people’s lives and the wellbeing of our society. It has also revealed the many challenges we face in the provision of adult social care and the need to reform our social care system.
Whilst the Department has taken action to support the adult social care sector during the pandemic, we realise that longer term and transformational change is needed to sustain the essential services adult social care provides to people in need and those who care for them

The Department is seeking your views on the consultation paper regarding the Reform of the Adult Social Care System in Northern Ireland.

Power to People

On 5 December 2016 Des Kelly OBE and John Kennedy, two leading experts in social care were appointed to form an Expert Advisory Panel on Adult Care and Support.

The Panel’s report Power to People was published by the Department on the 11 December 2017.

The report set out sixteen proposals on how to reform the system.


Consultation description

This consultation is designed to provide a wide range of stakeholders with the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposals that have been laid out.

Consultation Paper

This consultation sets out the Department’s proposals for implementing the recommendations of the Power to People report, available on the DoH website.

There has been widespread engagement on this paper with a variety of stakeholders including those who use health and social care services, those who work in social care, employers, trade unions, service providers and family carers. Your views will play a key role in supporting the Department to bring forward solutions and actions to meet the urgent as well as long term challenges facing the adult care and support system in Northern Ireland.

 The consultation paper is divided into six chapters which are:-

  • Sustainable System Building – To build a stable, sustainable adult social care system.
  • A Valued Workforce – that staff who work in social care will be valued, competent and resilient.
  • Individual Choice and Control – To ensure the individual has control over the decisions affecting their social wellbeing and their care and support needs.
  • Prevention and Early Intervention – A renewed focus on prevention and early intervention to support people to achieve their own social wellbeing.
  • Supporting Carers – Carers will be supported in their caring duties and entitled to support in their own right.
  • Primacy of Home – The purposes of adult social care, including group care services, is to support citizens to live well in their own home in connection to their families, social networks and communities, providing maximum choice and control of their daily living arrangements and their care and support provision.

Following this consultation the Department intends to develop a 10 year plan to address the many challenges in the organisation, funding, commissioning, planning and delivery of adult social care services. 

Below are a number of documents, all which are part of the consultation:

Consultation engagement events

A series of consultation engagement events will take place during this consultation.

DoH Reform of Adult Social Care – virtual public engagement event
Thursday 5 May 2022 at 2-4pm
Progressing via Zoom

DoH Reform of Adult Social Care – virtual public engagement event
Wednesday 18 May 2022 at 10am-12noon
Progressing via Zoom

Coproduction has been at the heart of the development of these proposals and many stakeholders have made an invaluable and expert contribution.

Please access the attached videos to see  and hear what Social Care means to some of the individuals involved.

Robin Swann - Minister of Health
John Mitchell
Elaine Rose 
Laura Collins
Patricia Higgins - Interim CEO for the Social Care Council
Sean Holland - DoH Chief Social Work Officer

Long Version
Long Version With Subtitles

Ways to respond:-

There will be a number of ways to help people to respond to the consultation.

Please note that respondents do not have to address every question within the consultation, and can instead focus on the questions or issues that are of particular interest.

Stakeholders can respond to the consultation exercise using one of the following options:

  • Via the online survey hosted on Citizen Space (which can be accessed using the link below);
  • By completing the Consultation Questionnaire, which is available in the documents sections below.  The Questionnaire can be completed depending on which questions you wish to respond to, and submitted via email or in hard copy using the contact details listed below;
  • By sending an email, or writing to the address listed below, with a summary of your feedback to the consultation.


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