Change in attitudes key to achieving reform in social care says new report

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Some councils and care providers have demonstrated what a reformed social care system could look like when they alter their attitudes and behaviours to be more trusting and less bureaucratic. These are the findings of a new report published by Think Local Act Personal – the leadership body for personalised care in England.

The report, The 3 R's of Social Care Reform, is based on learning from the response to Covid-19, and it identified three key ingredients for reform. These are constructive risk taking, respectful relationships and a sense of reciprocity.

These behaviours and attitudes are brought to life in case studies that explore the impact of Covid-19 on self-directed support, commissioning, and the community response in different places in England. 

“Rather than shutting services and furloughing staff, we said to providers we’ll keep paying you and you repurpose your staff to be in contact with these people and try and find a different way to support them. OK, you can’t provide five days per week day care, but can you touch base 1-2-1 once per week and talk to them outside and do it differently?” 

Tim Baverstock, Deputy Director Adult Social Care, Somerset County Council

"During lockdown the board made a powerful video about the charter and what it means to them. They delivered a staff session on it which reminds us all why we’re here and ensure that people with lived experience are at the forefront of our work."

Sarah Dillon, Director of Adult Social Care, Telford and Wrekin Council

Tim Parkin, Interim Head of TLAP and one of the report’s authors says:

 "The pandemic has raised the awareness of the important role of social care in society. The examples in this paper touch upon different points of adult social care as part of a more personalised vision of care and support and will be of interest to those promoting social care reform"

Clenton Farquharson, TLAP Chair, says of the report

"Surely the legacy of this horrific pandemic must be to learn the lessons of how we  treat people who draw on services so that they can lead a good life. If we practice genuine co-production, as outlined in this important report, we will be making steps in the right direction."