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Co-creating a new social care future – the power of a conversation

A graphic of two people holding a report with the Community Catalysts logo on

Over the last few months, Community Catalysts has been working in partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council, their coproduction group Our Voice and local people and communities to have a Big Conversation about social care. The work was supported by Social Care Future and recorded by New Possibilities.

We wanted it to feel like a genuine conversation, not just a tick-box exercise

Ed Lowe (Chair, Our Voice Co-production Group)

Social Care Future Vision: We all want to live in the place we call home with the people and things that we love, in communities where we look out for one another, doing things that matter to us. That's the social care future we seek. #SocialCareFutureNottinghamshire County Council know that everyone’s social care experience is different, and the system can feel complicated. They have adopted the Social Care Future vision and wanted this Big Conversation to help inform a rewrite of their  Adult Social Care Strategy to show how social care in Nottinghamshire will change in future.

Graphics of people. The first couple are chatting and have an empty speech bubble above their head. The second couple are stood in front of a calendar and are holding pieces of paper. There is also a man using a wheelchair with and empty speech bubble above his head. From 20 February to 22 March 2023, Community Catalysts, together with Our Voice and lots of local partners found ways to talk to local people with experience of social care. Together we ran 8 community events, held 11 meetings and developed 2 online surveys for people who couldn’t engage in person. We asked people who use social care and their carers about the vision, the challenges, and what they want in the future.

We heard from 542 people. People shared their experiences and ideas, their thanks and discontent, their hopes and dreams for the future. People were open and honest and trusted the process might help towards a better social care future. Despite many positives, it can’t always have been an easy listen for the Council but listen they did – and for that we applaud them.

A graphic showing a man earing a lanyard. Above him is a speech bubble which has four other people sat around a table in it. The people are having tea and cake and smiling. There is also a clock in the top left hand corner with a circular arrow going around it, indicating a time frame. Today, the resulting report has been published along with a strong commitment from Nottinghamshire County Council to act on the results. For us, the whole process has been a shining example of what happens when the public sector and…the public really come together. It has been a proper partnership – joyful and messy and blinking hard work – we have loved it! And we will love even more watching a new and better social care future emerge in Nottinghamshire.

We listened to people’s positive and negative experiences and learned a lot. We are committed to using the report to drive continuous improvement and create a social care system in Nottinghamshire where we value, support, and enable people.

Melanie Williams (Corporate Director, Adult Social Care and Health)

If you want to learn more about the approach Nottinghamshire County Council are taking contact

If you are interested in Community Catalysts supporting a Big Conversation in your area contact

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