Market Position Statement

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Council officers in Localtown were asked to develop a Market Position Statement for adult social care and support. It needed to be developed and agreed quite quickly. Council officers did not feel that there was time to do a good job of co-producing the Market Position Statement with people using services. Instead they focussed on working with council colleagues to develop and publish the statement. They sent out a questionnaire to local provider organisations and decided that publishing the Market Position Statement could be the starting point for a conversation with local people who use services, their carers and providers of services.

While developing the Market Position Statement council officers did hold one meeting to which they invited people from outside the council. The people they invited were from local provider organisations or charities that council officers had already worked with. The people who came were given a presentation about the work that had taken place. Then they were asked their opinions and how they would improve the statement. They did not have any information before the meeting to review the information. They did not have any time before or after the meeting to talk to their colleagues or peers and they weren't clear how their participation would affect the Market Position Statement.

The final statement was very technical and complicated. It only talked about costs and statistical information about the market. People with care and support needs and carers were not told that the Market Position Statement had been published. Once the Market Position Statement was produced the council officers did not have any further time or budget to enable them to organise a conversation with local people. Some provider organisations who were already involved with the council were aware that it had been published but they were not sure who to respond to about the statement or how to provide feedback. The providers did not speak to any people who use services about the Market Position Statement because the language was not accessible and they did not think it was important or interesting for them.

This example could be improved by involving people who use services in the development of the Market Position Statement from the very beginning, to:

  • Identify what outcomes are important.
  • Say how care and support provision can help people to make these things happen.
  • Identify any gaps.

Because there was not much time this may have needed to start with small numbers of people, but this group could also help to plan activities to involve more people after the Market Position Statement was published.

Although technical information about demographic trends and costs are critical parts of a Market Position Statement, this information should be presented in a way that is easy to understand and be given alongside information about quality gathered by involving people in co-production.

Once the statement had been published, the council should have kept talking with providers and people with care and support needs to make the document the start of an ongoing dialogue.