It is widely acknowledged that the current model of social care is unsustainable. This is illustrated by rising levels of demand and acuity, significant workforce constraints, insufficient funding and changing expectations of people, families and carers. To change for the better, we must unlock a new, more sustainable and digitally-enabled model of care.
The vision and strategy are clear – we all want to see people-centred care and support. People that are empowered to live the lives they want to lead, connected to their local communities, in the places they call home.
The vision for a better social care future is well known and clearly articulated. We all want the focus to be on the person at the centre of their care and support, empowered to live the life they want to lead, in the place they call home. That vision is set out consistently by the Care Act, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), the Local Government Association (LGA), and, most recently, the adult social care white paper ‘People at the Heart of Care’.
The strategy is clear. The strategy has people at its heart and takes a whole-system approach to delivering better lives and better care. Throughout the white paper and NHSX’s delivery plan, there are clear strategic themes relating to workforce, housing and digitally-enabled care.
Successful delivery of the vision remains the core challenge in local systems. It is not just about new ideas or new thinking; it is about overcoming the complex challenges of delivery. The biggest opportunity to accelerate delivery of the vision and strategy is through embracing digital transformation.
As directors of adult social services (DASSs) navigate these steps and advocate the importance of their role in wider integrated care system (ICS) plans and ambitions, our role at Channel 3 is to work with you to deliver your vision whilst unlocking the power of digital transformation.
We understand what it takes to move beyond a vision to deliver whole system change, to design a single programme of change and create the right conditions for success, using a range of enablers to transform care and improve lives. Given the progress made by the sector in recent years, digital now represents the greatest potential to create the required step-change in how the sector delivers a better social care future.
Delivering sustainable change is hard and it is vital to engage with frontline staff to deliver and adopt new ways of working. Our focus is to support the creation of the necessary conditions to allow successful delivery. Then together we can drive greater ambition and impact through the opportunities that digital presents. We know that unlocking a new model of social care will require taking a ‘people first’ and intelligence-led approach, inspiring leadership, changing culture, creating an evidence baseline and tracking impact. Indeed, the single biggest opportunity in accelerating the delivery of a better social care future lies in exploiting digital transformation.
Social care is a service run by people for people. To deliver and sustain change successfully, the people who are invested in social care must lead and be engaged in the change journey. We focus on the people element of change as the most important. Engagement, co-production and communication are all essential components of our approach. Our experience and expertise help local systems to set the right direction, creating a shared ambition and putting people at the heart of the change journey. We use our digital expertise to help improve digital leadership, confidence in change and frontline capability and capacity.
Immediate operational pressures that require prioritisation every day are often blockers to a strategic change programme. We provide independent strategic support and operational change capacity to help you move forward at pace whilst managing day-to-day demands. Our approach recognises the capacity constraints within which you are working in four ways: 1. We ensure that change activities are prioritised to address current challenges and improve the lives of staff and people. 2. We ensure that staff input is proportionate to the change being delivered. 3. We work in blended teams to support frontline staff through change. 4. We develop simple governance, performance reporting and decision-making processes.
Exploiting the opportunity that digital and data presents is where we specialise. At a system level, digital and data can be used to support information sharing, improve communication and encourage people to make independence-led decisions. Staff can also improve awareness of alternative services, monitor and act on changes in people’s behaviours and proactively plan their time. Also, the public can make informed health and care decisions that build their confidence, enabling them to take ownership of their lives. We understand and have experience of how digital and data can help realise these outcomes, and the many others that are achievable.
Technology must play a far greater role in the delivery of care and in supporting people to remain independent. The sector knows that it will never have enough care staff to maintain the traditional ‘people to people’ model of care. We have a range of partnerships and collaborations with technology providers to access the fast-paced and complex supplier market. We focus on establishing the opportunity and need for digital intervention, matching a solution to the need, and then take a people first approach in ensuring the technology is embedded in everyday life in a beneficial way.
The sector has struggled to embed prevention and early intervention approaches to improve peoples’ lives and reduce demand on the health and care services. Utilising data to provide a proactive response to changing behaviours, generate insights to predict patterns of behaviours that result in poor health and then utilise this evidence to plan a service response is critical in improving the health of the population. We have the expertise of data and the understanding of how to positively transform services, decision making processes and prevention strategies to accelerate a data- and insight-led approach.
Ralph has over 20 years consulting experience within the public sector, more recently specialising in designing and delivering complex transformation programmes across health and social care.
Stuart has over 20 years of experience within frontline services and consultancy within health and social care, specialising in delivering whole system transformational change.
Joel is an experienced public sector management consultant, having worked across major local authority transformation programmes, delivering complex whole system transformation.
Nyasha has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Sheffield. For several years she has worked as a qualified social worker, supporting the most vulnerable adults across South Yorkshire.