Blog in pink circle

Is this the start of a seismic shift in social care?

12 December 2022 · Categories: Communities Care, Local Area Coordination Network, Opinions and responses, People Can

As we fast approach the end of 2022 it’s a good opportunity to pause for reflection, think about where we’re at and where we’re going…not just in our Community Catalysts’ family but in the wider landscape. Over the last few years, the tremors have been building and now it feels like a seismic shift in social care is on the way…

Waves of social care changeA Twitter screenshot showing an image of Vicky and Jodie from Speak Up standing in front of a coproduction wall of feedback. They are both pointing to a post it note that says “We are people. We just want to be equal”. They are both smiling. The Tweet is by Pip Cannons and says ‘massive thanks to Jodie and Vicky from Speak Up for coming along and talking coproduction today at NCASC22. “How will services know what people want if they don’t ask?”’

Last month, we attended the National Children and Adults Services Conference (NCASC) in Manchester. Over 3 days we had countless conversations with lots of different people all saying the same thing and reflecting on the positive shift in emphasis towards coproduction and hearing from people who draw on care or support. There was a resounding appetite for change and it was fantastic to find out that our Innovation Stand partners – Shared Lives Plus TLAP Mayday Trust IMpact , and SCIE – were hearing the same things in their conversations too.

While we’ve always worked collaboratively at Community Catalysts, in recent years we’ve seen a positive shift here too with more (and closer) working relationships with other people and organisations. Part of the wider sector shift towards partnership working can be tracked back to the Social Care Future movement.

Born in frustration but powered by hope…

…the movement brings together ‘people with a shared commitment…to major positive change in…social care’.

It’s now 4 years since the launch of Social Care Future, 4 years of people working together and 4 years amplifying the voices of people who draw on care and support so it was fantastic to see the Social Care Future vision front and centre of the recent House of Lords Adult Social Care Committee report – ‘A Gloriously Ordinary Life’…and more importantly, people who draw on care and support were front and centre too!

Our recommendations are intended to bring those who draw on and provide unpaid care into the daylight and that starts with changing the perceptions around care, providing the realistic financial and workforce strategies that are long overdue, and planning for a system responsive to present needs and resilient for the future.

Baroness Andrews, Committee Chair

It was good to see the Committee report build on the social care reform White Paper which was published a year ago. We were pleased to see the Committee enabled even more people who draw on care and support to contribute to the conversation and that they also acknowledged the White Paper needed to go further, particularly around funding.

It was also great that the Committee spent time learning about Local Area Coordination in Derby and Thurrock and developed a good understanding of the wide-ranging impacts of the approach and links to ICSs. Earlier this year, Les Billingham (Thurrock Council’s Assistant Director Adult Social Care & Community Development) and our Nick Sinclair gave a live testimony to the Committee which fed directly into the new report.

We were encouraged and pleased to see Local Area Coordination cited throughout the report. This reflects a growing interest we are seeing in the Local Area Coordination approach and philosophy.

Nick Sinclair, Director of the Local Area Coordination Network

The Committee also acknowledged the value of community micro-enterprises – small enterprises that offer local care or support – with a particular focus on the ‘micro-provider’ programme in Somerset which was coproduced with us at Community Catalysts. We are really proud to see the continued growth and impact of this programme and it’s fantastic to be working with new areas at the start of their community micro-enterprise journeys.

What’s next for social care?

We’re looking forward to hearing the Government response to the Committee report and in the meantime, we’ll carry on working together and making sure people can get the help and care they need in ways, times and places that suit them, with a real choice of attractive local options.

By Pip Cannons – CEO at Community Catalysts

You might be interested in our other recent blogs:

Back to news