Living Better Lives 2022 - 2026 Our five-year vision and strategy for Adult Social Care and Commissioning in South Tyneside

Published 25th November 2022 An accessible document from


Living Better Lives is the five-year strategy for adult social care and commissioning in South Tyneside. It is based on extensive consultation and co-production with local partners, people working in social care, and people who draw on care and support.

It will support a new vision for adult social care and commissioning:

We all want people in South Tyneside to live in the place they call home with the people and things that they love, in communities where people look out for one another, doing things that matter to them.

A more detailed implementation plan and outcomes framework will follow this strategy.

We are also committed to establishing better ways to engage people in decisions about social care – what we call co-production (see glossary) – and we will be reaching out to communities over the coming months to ask people to become involved in helping us shape the future of social care and support.

As part of our commitment to co-production, South Tyneside Council has signed up to the Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) Making it Real framework. Making it Real is a tool for local people to come together to agree what is working and not working and plan positive change.

The crucial element is that any work in support of implementing Making it Real must be coproduced by people with lived experience (people who access care and support) and reflect the principles and values of co-production. Co-production also recognises that people (and their families) have knowledge and experience that should be used to support improved planning and decision-making.

Forward from the Lead Member for Adults, Health, and Independence

As the Lead Member for Adults, Health, and Independence, I am proud to introduce you to our new 5-year vision for Adult Social Care and Commissioning in South Tyneside.

People across South Tyneside are helping to shape the future of adult social care to ensure care and support services support our residents to Live Better Lives. We are committed to listening to the voices of people who access care and support, carers and the organisations that support them. We want to use their experience and knowledge to shape what we do and how we do it, developing a collective vision for the future. Our priorities are based upon what people have told us is important to them. Specifically, what their vision of Living Better Lives is and what needs to change to realise this vision.

South Tyneside is well known for its culturally diverse population and strong sense of community spirit and whilst the pandemic has thrown up some significant challenges, we have been inspired by the way local communities have united to support each other.

South Tyneside is a caring place, and the crisis has seen our neighbourhoods and communities coming together to support each other, with many volunteers and businesses working together to help care for its residents. Our 5-year vision supports wider community action, building upon the social movement that was initially seen at the start of the pandemic.

People should be given the best opportunity possible to lead healthy and independent lives, but we will only achieve this by changing the way we work, focusing on outcomes; what people want to achieve, how they want to live, and working with our neighbourhoods and communities differently. We want to bring together a diverse range of social enterprises and community groups, to help us tackle health and wellbeing issues via place-based partnership working; and see improved engagement, ensuring everyone’s voice is heard, whilst co-producing and co-delivering services.

With people, families, and communities very much at the heart of what we do, we are committed to supporting our residents with the right level of support when they need it. As part of our approach to prevent, reduce, and delay the need for care, we want to build upon people’s strengths and assets; to support their independence and enable them to live a better life; in the neighbourhoods and communities they call home.

Cllr Anne Hetherington Lead Member for Adults, Health, and Independence

Introduction from the Director of Adult Social Services and Commissioning

At a time of real challenge and change, we want to work together to deliver a new Adult Social Care and Commissioning Vision. We understand the importance of having a place to call home, surrounded by friends and neighbours, doing the things you enjoy and with people looking out for one another. However, we know that we still have work to do to change things and we must be honest about the challenges we face. These include financial pressures, as well as increasing demands upon our services, therefore we need to work together to look at how we can do things differently to achieve a new vision for Adult Social Care and Commissioning in South Tyneside.

By working together with yourselves and our partners, I am confident that we can make real progress in achieving the objectives set out within our strategy and supporting people to Live Better Lives. We may not always get it right first time but if we can learn together, celebrate our successes, and learn from where it did not always work first time then we can hopefully start to make a difference together.

Vicki Pattinson Director of Adult Social Services and Commissioning

About South Tyneside

South Tyneside has a rich heritage, and our history has played a major role in regional, national and even world history. It was a military strong hold for the Romans and an important centre for the early Christian church, where the Venerable Bede wrote his “Ecclesiastical History.” An area that was rich in coal with a key position on the River Tyne, it has a proud industrial and maritime past and was at the forefront of invention and innovation in these areas. The Jarrow Crusade of 1936 was a key event in the town’s proud history.

South Tyneside is also renowned for its friendly, vibrant communities, who have welcomed incomers for centuries, giving it a rich and diverse cultural heritage. Celts, Romans, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Vikings, the early 20th century arrival of the Arabs and more recently the settling of people from the Commonwealth, notably the Indian sub-continent, and the European Union reflect the present-day culture of South Tyneside.

Covering an area of 64 square miles and a population of 151,100 living in 72,000 households South Tyneside includes the towns of South Shields, Hebburn and Jarrow and the villages of Boldon, Cleadon and Whitburn and is an outstanding place to live, invest and bring up families.

  • The Borough has a population of 151,100
  • 20.4% of our residents are ages 65 years +
  • 61.7% of our residents are of working age (18- 65)
  • 19.9% of residents are below the age of 18
  • Projections show that our population could rise to 155,694 by 2030 and 158,825 by 2040
  • 91% of educational establishments in South Tyneside were classed as good or outstanding by Ofsted
  • 83% of students stay in education
  • 11% go into apprenticeships or employment. While this pattern is echoed regionally, nationally a higher proportion stay in education 87% and a lower proportion 6.8% go into apprenticeships or employment
  • 6.6% of working age adults are unemployed compared to 4.8% in England overall
  • 12% of our residents (over 18000 people) have a long-term health problem or disability. This is above the regional and national averages 10.7% and 9.3%
  • 2382 local people 18+ have a learning disability, this includes 1163 people with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder, 584 with a moderate or severe learning disability and 57 people with Down Syndrome. 6.6% of working age adults are unemployed compared to 4.8% in England overall 6.6%
  • 19.1% of the local population over the age of 16 are estimated to have a common mental health disorder (including depression, anxiety disorders, OCD, PTSD). A rate higher than regionally 18.2% and nationally 16.9%
  • 3.98% of South Tyneside residents aged 65 or over are estimated to have a dementia. This is similar across the country
  • The average life expectancy for people in South Tyneside is 76.4 for men and 81.2 for women, compared to the national average of 79.4 men and 83.1 woman respectively.

National Context for Change

In November 2021, the Government published its long-awaited White Paper on Adult Social Care Reform, People at the Heart of Care: adult social care reform, which sets out a 10-year vision for how it intends to reform adult social care in England focused on achieving three objectives:

  1. People have choice, control, and support to live independent lives.
  2. People can access outstanding quality and tailored care and support.
  3. People find adult social care fair and accessible.

Whilst the Council has serious concerns about planned levels of social care funding to make this possible, we are supportive of these aims, and our strategy seeks to speak to these aims of supporting choice, control, independence, access and fairness, outlined in the White Paper. This Strategy recognises the enormous strain that Covid-19 has placed on communities, and indeed on the social care workforce. Whilst the worst of the pandemic may seem to be behind us, the legacy remains and new challenges face us, including the cost-of-living crisis, increasing demand for social care, and availability of the workforce. It is therefore important that we learn lessons from things that did not work well and build on some of the positives that did emerge during the crisis, for instance, the willingness of people to support each other and the capacity of the community to care for others.

The Government also recently published a White Paper on integrated care - Health and social care integration: joining up care for people, places, and populations - which sets out proposals that aim to provide better, more joined-up health and care services at ‘place’ level. Place is one of the foundational principles of our strategy, and we strongly support the idea of bringing partners together to prioritise reducing health inequalities and sharing in resources to improve the health of local people and see this strategy as an important step towards further strengthening our approach to local partnership working.

Local Context

South Tyneside is a special and unique place, but the Borough does have significant challenges, including areas of high deprivation (see glossary) and as a Northeast coastal area there is a strong legacy of intergenerational (see glossary) skills and health challenges within our communities. The aftermath of the pandemic and the new threats of rising inflation and skills shortages present multiple challenges, particularly as the long-term impact of the virus has yet to fully play out. Such challenges include; our towns adapting to changing shopping and working habits; the mismatch between labour market supply and demand; the need for upskilling and retraining (and to boost aspiration); the effect of the pandemic upon mental health and young people’s progress; the growth of multiple long-term conditions; an ageing population and the challenges around reablement (see glossary); the increasing recognition of the link between wider determinants of health (see glossary) and health outcomes; the importance of robust and resilient transport and digital connectivity; the rising cost of living and prevalence of entrenched poverty.

The index of Multiple Deprivation 2019 ranks South Tyneside as the 27th most deprived local authority areas in England (out of 317) being more deprived than its Tyne and Wear neighbours and 3rd most deprived borough overall in the Northeast region, particularly for employment, income, health and digital access.

There is however a lot of variation in the levels of deprivation and affluence across the borough, with some real differences at ward level, from population and economy to health and deprivation, which means we are facing growing demand and new challenges around how to support people to stay independent and improve their wellbeing.

Our Health and Wellbeing picture is challenging with higher rates of residents with a range of health challenges, long-term conditions, obesity and/or mental health disorders, as well as one of the highest rates of hospital admissions for alcohol related issues in the country. 6.6% of our population are unemployed compared with 4.8% national. We also have a higher proportion of workless households at 23.2% with 6000+ claimants out of work despite the number of job vacancies in the borough being up 40% from 2021, highlighting a clear disjoint.

Life expectancy varies greatly. For men it ranges from 71.5 years in Primrose to 83.6 years for men in Cleadon and East Boldon – a whole 12.1-year difference. For women, it ranges from 78.5 years in Primrose to 87.7 years in Horsley Hill – a 9.2-year difference. Our Director of Public Health uses hypothetical children Jack and Emily to demonstrate the differences the two children born on the same day, but from different parts of the borough, and what impact that had on their health and wellbeing, as they developed as children into adulthood. Jack was born in the ward of Simonside and Rekendyke and Emily in Cleadon and East Boldon Ward. Their journeys through life are quite shockingly different, culminating in jack expecting to live 75 years and Emily 87 years; a whole 12 years longer.

Many of these issues are interconnected and will put further pressure on services, driving up demand and presenting a real risk of exacerbating our existing structural challenges and the inequalities that already exist across South Tyneside. We know that we are experiencing a serious cost of living crisis, placing huge pressure on our communities. We will endeavour to ensure that those most effected by cost-of-living pressures, continue to be able to access high quality care and support, and that we connect them where they want this to other forms of support.

However, these challenges also present a huge opportunity for the borough to grasp, look to do things differently and drive change. This is an important time to consider what we want in the future from care and support; and the opportunity to develop new ways of working and delivering care and support.

Our Vision for the future

We have the following vision for adult social care and commissioning in South Tyneside:

We all want people in South Tyneside to live in the place they call home with the people and things that they love, in communities where people look out for one another, doing things that matter to them

This means, we want people in South Tyneside to:

  • Be able to access support which builds on their strengths, friendships, and aspirations
  • Live safely and well
  • Live independently as much as this is possible
  • Have an equal voice in coordinating their care and support
  • Tell their story only once
  • Have their rights protected
  • Be included and treated as equal citizens

We want care and support to contribute to our vision for reducing unfairness and poverty in South Tyneside.

Our key objectives

We have set out below our 6 key objectives for the next 5 years based upon national and local priorities and upon what people have told us is important to them. Specifically, what their vision of living a better life is and what needs to change to realise this. Together we are fully committed to co-producing solutions, and we will be working with people to work out how we deliver these aspirations. As such a more detailed implementation plan and outcomes framework will follow this strategy. We hope by having developed these objectives with local people, partners and our workforce this puts us in a strong position to work together to enable more people to realise their vision of living better lives.

Objective 1: Prevention and Early Intervention

We will help people to stay well and independent for as long as possible and that we are proactive in our approaches. We need to encourage people working closely with a range of partners, including the NHS, housing, voluntary and independent sector to adopt healthier lifestyles, taking control of their own health and wellbeing and making the most of their strengths and resources. This could include local resources such as family and friends, social clubs, faith communities, library and leisure facilities. The use of technology, equipment, and/or accommodation which helps people to remain independent will be an important part of our conversations with people.

Objective 2: Support people to remain in control

We believe that giving people genuine choice and control about how their receive care and support can improve quality of life as well as promoting independence and wellbeing. We will ensure that our ways of working enable people to have more choice and control, working with people, their families and carers to develop personalised support plans that focus upon what matters to them and achieving the best outcomes.

Objective 3: Keeping people at risk of harm and abuse safe and well

Keeping people safe is about building a community, who share a collective responsibility for ensuring people are safe – the council, NHS, housing, voluntary and community sector, faith groups and members of the community who know what to spot and how to respond to concerns about a person’s safety.

Objective 4: Working in partnership to improve health and care

We will work together with a range of partners, including health, housing, the voluntary and independent sector to plan and deliver better health care and support for people who live in South Tyneside which will be proactive, personalised and fair – we refer to this way of working as place-based partnerships (see Glossary).

Objective 5: Working together with our communities

We recognise that we are better placed to meet the current challenges and future ones, by working in partnership with people and/or their Carers who draw upon support, local communities and stakeholders. By working in partnership, we can seek to overcome the challenges together and co-produce the solutions to them.

Objective 6: Have a sustainable and skilled workforce

Our workforce is our greatest asset and staff need to feel valued for the work they do and the commitment they bring. Our ambition is to provide fully inclusive employment opportunities, offering career development and progression, so that we have a workforce providing high quality support, and who is responsive to a diversity of need across Adult Social Care.

Our Values and Behaviours

Our values will be a key element of the successful delivery of our vision for South Tyneside.

Our values define who we are, what we believe in, how we will work and what people can expect from Adult Social Care and Commissioning in South Tyneside.

We are passionate about our place and care about our people. We are:

  1. Professional
  2. Respectful
  3. Open and honest
  4. Understanding
  5. Deliver what we say we will

Adopting a one team collaborative approach, we want our workforce to demonstrate the following CARE behaviours:

  1. Curiosity
  2. Accountable
  3. Responsive
  4. Empowered

How we plan to achieve the vision

Vision Values and Behaviours Priorities
We all want people in South Tyneside to live in the place they call home with the people and things that they love, in communities where people look out for one another, doing things that matter to them.
Values and Behaviours
We are passionate about our place and care about our people.

We are:

• Professional
• Respectful
• Open and Honest
• Understand the needs of others
• Do what we say we will
Adopting a one team collaborative approach, we want our workforce to demonstrate the following CARE behaviours:
Curiosity, Accountable, Responsive and Empowered
Objective 1: Prevention and Early Intervention
Objective 2: Support people to remain in control
Objective 3: Keep people at risk of harm and abuse safe and well
Objective 4: Work in partnership to improve health and care
Objective 5: Work together with our communities
Objective 6: Have a sustainable and skilled workforce
Measuring our Impact
It is important that we are clear on what outcomes we are trying to achieve and can measure progress against these. We have started to develop our Outcomes Framework in collaboration with partners, staff and people who draw on support, but this will evolve further as we implement the Think Local, Act Personal Making it Real framework. This will follow the implementation of this strategy


The process of planning services for a group of people who live in a particular area. It does not always mean paying for services but making sure that the services people need are available in that area.
The term co-production refers to a way of working, whereby everybody works together on an equal basis to create a service or come to a decision which works for them all.
An absence or too little of something of importance considered to be a basic necessity in a society.
Relating to, involving, or affecting several generations of the same family.
Place based partnerships
Place-based partnerships are when organisations responsible for arranging and delivering health and care services in a locality or community work together to improve health and care.
If you or someone you know has been in hospital or had an illness or fall, you may need temporary care to help you get back to normal and stay independent.
Wider Determinants of Health
Also knows as social determinants are a range of social, economic and environmental factors which impact on people’s health which include income and social status, employment and working conditions, education, childhood experience, housing, social supports and coping skills, healthy behaviours and access to health services.