Reimagining homecare for the future

You don't have to look very hard at the news, both printed and online, to realise that many believe social care is in crisis as stories abound that there is insufficient funding for social care.

No particular area is this more apparent than in homecare. Stories of homecare providers 'exiting the market' have been around for some time now.

Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) continues to promote the personalisation policy enshrined in the Care Act. In doing so it has been working with regions of the country in partnership with the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS). Recently we have been supporting  ADASS Eastern Region, who wanted to look at 're-imagining homecare'.

Crikey! Big ask.

And yet, through TLAP's wide network of partners and thought leaders, it wasn't difficult to find out about and showcase some exciting and innovative work in different patches of the country.

One such development is Wellbeing Teams, and an associated but separate development, Community Circles. There was so much demand to hear more about this innovation that we decided to run a webinar in partnership with one of our partners The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) so others could hear about them.

Watch the webinar (opens new window)

Q & A

What are Community Circles?

Community Circles are an initiative designed to engage networks of family carers and their friends in building good networks of support for their loved ones, helping them to live at home for longer and more independently. For more information visit

Can you tell us more about how Individual Service Funds work?

Individual Service Funds are one of the ways people can take a Personal Budget. The money is managed by the provider of support and there is scope for the provider and the person needing support to be able to use the money flexibly in order to meet the outcomes identified in their care and support plan. This is done under contract between the council and the provider. Please see TLAPs resource Individual Service Funds & Contracting for Flexible Support


What is Rallyround?

Rallyround is an online app that supports networks of family carers and their friends to build and manage practical support for their loved one. For more information visit Carers UK offer a similar app, 'jointly'.

Can we get more information on the Stabilise and Make Safe (SAMS) service please?

SAMS is a short term intervention designed to increase a person’s chance of long term independence following hospitalisation or a community referral. It is limited to three weeks with a maximum extension of one extra week so long as a person is making progress towards independence.

Are Wellbeing Teams a commissioned service or delivered in-house?

They are not intended to be an in-house service offer. The innovation supports the personalisation agenda where individuals become the commissioners of their own service, whether funding that themselves with their own money, or through a Personal Budget taken as an Individual Service Fund (ISF). In this respect, the commissioning response needed is a strategic piece to enable ISF's to be offered to people needing care and support who are eligible and receive an allocation of funding from the council or NHS, and to develop the market such that those organisations available in the area wishing to operate the Wellbeing Team approach can bring the strengths and flexibilities of ISFs to bear in their service offer.

What level of staff is in each team, and how many people can each team support?

Each team has no fewer than four and no more than twelve members. The typical ratio of worker to customer is 1.5

Would it be possible to meet with the Wellbeing Team and hear from them first hand?

We could look at this potentially being a further webinar subject.

Are there any examples of mass mobilisation and the financial impact?

Helen Sanderson is working with TLAP and SCIE to offer another webinar about finances, comparing them to a conventional services.

How can we start building care work to be seen as a vocation and a career?

Skills for Care have done much valuable work in this space, please visit their website at . Wellbeing Teams offer away to implement and embed many of the principles and values outlined in Skills for Care's strategic work.

Any advice on retaining carers during school holiday periods?

One of the strengths of Wellbeing Teams is the way its members can flex their work patterns to individual needs and lifestyles. Such issues can be addressed within the structured team meeting arrangements.

Like many new developments, a little information leads to people asking further questions that dig deeper.  So we've decided to create a webinar series with other TLAP partners and stakeholders around this theme of 're-imagining Homecare'.

The learning and insights from the webinars will offer people the opportunity to deliver better, more person-centred care and support significantly and more efficiently than the current model ever can.

Would you agree?



Posted on by Old Site User

Hi Martin
I agree and it is interesting to consider why homecare remains the last bastion of change. I am very glad this area is being finally taken on and would like to be involved in any relevant discussions. I am currently scoping the basis of a shift to outcomes in homecare in Devon, include several tests of change, such as Individual Service Funds in Dartmoor for social care and personal health budgets. We have a Proud to Care Campaign, running alongside which now has peninsula wide sign up which promotes values based recruitment. I am passionate about enabling the fantastic community synergies to blend with formal homecare and see if we cant get people and staff cooperating around outcomes rather than service schedules. It is a huge cultural shift but the materials on TLAP are really helpful.

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