New Study Examines How Councils Are “Transforming” Social Care

TLAPThink Local Act Personal (TLAP) a national partnership of over 50 organisations committed to supporting the continued implementation of personalisation and community-based health, care and support has published a new study looking at how some councils are transforming  social care by working closely with innovative providers and shifting their own approach to commissioning.

Based on three sites – in Thurrock, Somerset and Wigan, the report explores how councils are re-defining their relationship with the communities they serve in the context of diminished financial resources and rising demand. Their approaches are based on principles of building and maintaining family and community connections, as well as fostering people’s confidence and resilience. In all three places this means turning outwards – focusing on the strengths of the neighbourhoods and villages where people live, and sharing power.

Whilst the three places are very different, and the process of change is not complete, Thurrock, Somerset and Wigan will be places to watch for those interested in how social care will look in the future.

Reimagining Social Care: a study in three places should be of interest to everyone who is committed to finding workable and authentic ways of providing care and support that is rooted in people and communities. It is of particular relevance to commissioners and those responsible for the leadership, training and development of the workforce.

 Caroline Speirs, TLAP Head, says: “This practical and insightful document sets out how three areas are responding to the long-held ambition of moving to a care and support system that is rooted in people and communities. All three areas are developing in different ways and focusing on different priorities, but all are informed by a very strong sense of place, an understanding of the importance of supporting wellbeing and the need to develop a new, more equal relationship with local citizens.”

Clenton Farquharson MBE, TLAP Chair, says: “I believe that innovation and progress happen when we allow ourselves to embrace uncertainty.  We need to create a mind-set that thrives on making changes even when we don’t have all the answers. I think that these three councils, have in their own way, done that; therefore the biggest lesson I think we can take from this is that you can never be courageous without taking risks”

Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, says: “This is a welcome report, which takes the asset-based approach from aspiration to the practicalities of how a selection of councils are actually doing it”.

Glen Garrod, ADASS President says: “The three areas give some useful pointers – more to the ‘how’ than the ‘what’ of asset-based approaches. They clearly demonstrate the value of leaders creating permissive conditions for practitioners to work with the community in imaginative person-centred ways. Well done to those involved and to TLAP for a really helpful and important publication”.