Publication of Final Report by Expert Advisory Panel on Adult Care and Support

Date published: 11 December 2017

The Expert Advisory Panel on Adult Care and Support today announced the publication of their report ‘Power to People: Proposals to reboot adult care and support in NI’.


Panel members Des Kelly OBE and John Kennedy presented their findings at a roundtable event on adult social care jointly organised by Age NI and the Law Centre.

Speaking at the event, Mr Kelly said: “Countries across the world are grappling with the challenge of how to respond to changing society structures and increasing demand for care and support. It is clear that there is no one solution, no silver bullet. Our report sets out a package of reforms which we believe are necessary to ensure Northern Ireland’s future care and support system is sustainable and focused on outcomes.”

Mr Kennedy added, “We have been encouraged by the appetite for change in Northern Ireland, but this does not mean that we underestimate the challenge of delivering effective change.

“With our report now complete, the task of responding to that challenge now lies with the Department of Health and its partners in the wider care and support system.

“It is essential that we have a frank and serious conversation across society on the best way forward in this vital policy area.

“It has been a privilege for both of us to be asked to carry out this work.  We are convinced that, with the right leadership and engagement across society, real and effective change is possible.”


Notes to editors: 

1. The Panel was established by the former Minister of Health Michelle O’Neill MLA in December 2016.  As part of the Department’s Reform of Adult Care and Support project, the Panel was tasked with identifying priority areas for reform.

2. Des Kelly has a background in the residential care sector with both older people and other adults. From 2003-2016 Des was the Executive Director of the National Care Forum (NCF), a membership based organisation established to promote quality care outcomes for people receiving care and support services through the not-for-profit sector.   Des was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2007 for services to social care.  In July 2013 he was appointed a Commissioner on the Demos-supported Commission on Residential Care chaired by former Minister Paul Burstow MP.  He has a continuing interest in improving quality for those receiving care and support services, workforce development, innovation and change.

3. John Kennedy is an independent consultant in social care, with extensive experience in both social care operations and policy development.  From January 2001 to December 2015 he worked for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation/Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust, where he was responsible for the strategic direction of the Care Services Department.  He is currently a trustee of the Wilberforce Trust, which is a charity providing accommodation and services to adults with learning disabilities.  He is also a trustee of the Residential Forum, the purpose of which is to promote the achievement of high standards of care for children and adults in nursing homes, residential homes and schools, and was recently appointed Honorary Lecturer at City University London. 

4. The Panel’s work has been informed by extensive engagement with stakeholders through a call for evidence, workshops, meetings and site visits.

5. The panel’s report is available online

6. The Panel’s report identifies 16 proposals for change along the following themes:

  • the value of Social Care
  • the Citizen at the Heart
  • Family Carers – Vital Partners for Social Care
  • Building Resilient Communities
  • the Professional Workforce in Social Care
  • the Market for Care
  • System Alignment – Making Integration Meaningful
  • towards a new Concordat

7. For media enquiries please contact the DoH Press Office 028 9052 0575 or email Out of hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07623 974383 and your call will be returned. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt

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