Tag Archives: person-centred care

Why we need a long term care revolution

It is time to take long term care out of the shadows and promote a public debate about the care and support we aspire to in later life rather than  accepting the current institutional models which offer so little choice and control for older citizens. The publication of Key to Care @PaulBurstow  supported by @LGiU is a timely reminder of the challenges confronting the care sector  and I welcome the mention of the need for service design and investing in technology.

I am one of the much maligned baby boomers being blamed by politicians and the media for not being responsible in planning for later life. The obvious question is what exactly I should be planning for  – being warehoused in an institution which may strip me of my dignity, pride and independence?

A blueprint for the redesign of long term care does not yet exist and we lack an overarching vision about how we want our care and support in later life to be provided beyond the institutional model. What are the levers of influence when social care is so complex and fragmented?

I believe our biggest challenge is  bringing  together all the sectors with an interest in improving the quality of later life for older citizens. As an example this includes: NHS health and care sectors, care providers, housing associations, emergency services, the wider social sector, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Kings Fund and many other think tanks, Care Quality Commission, Telecare providers, Independent Age, International Longevity Centre , Age UK, CarersUK, Design Council, Innovate UK, Nesta, Big Lottery and Nominet Trust who fund social technology projects, Centre for Ageing, universities, technology innovators, different Government Depts: Health, Communities and Local Government, Work and Pensions, Cabinet Office, Business, Innovation & Skills, Innovation Labs and Impact Labs across the UK. (I should add that this is only a small sample of the organisations involved in this area!)

I wonder if all of these bodies have ever sat down together to explore more effective collaborations and how to avoid duplication of effort and resources in basically tackling the same problems?

An honourable mention for  how technologies from other sectors and industries could help address the seemingly intractable problems about  supporting citizens in later life.

There seems to be a gulf between thinking and doing as organisations are unable to turn ideas into actions. Is this because there are so many stakeholders with their own perspectives and priorities sometimes struggling to survive in a competitive funding environment? .

Last week I launched my Long Term Care Revolution Provocation Paper commissioned by Innovate UK to provide an independent perspective about the challenges of developing radically different models of care which will meet the needs and aspirations of older citizens in later life.

 

With many thanks to Paul Taylor  for developing the presentation

If long term care is not fit for purpose how can we revolutionise the system or do we accept that the system is not the best but it is slowly changing and we need to give it time?

The “Ageing” sector is a complex multi million pound industry involving hundreds of organisations and millions of potential beneficiaries. From the @BigLotteryFund £82 million Ageing Better investment to the £50 million being spent creating the new Centre for Ageing Better why has there been so much reluctance to embrace new models of care for older citizens? There are a proliferation of partnerships and alliances exploring this agenda and how to embed social innovation in long term care. It is unclear how they are collaborating to provide a UK overview. Critical messages get lost in the plethora of reports and which often appear to be covering similar areas of concern such as isolation, loneliness. digital participation and the value of older citizens.

The reality is that person centred care will translate from words into everyday reality when we focus on the older citizen and are able to answer the simple questions “what will improve the quality of your life?” and “what care would you like to support you to live a fulfilling life?”

Our ageing population represent a victory for better nutrition, better housing, and the welfare state. People in later life offer wisdom, experience, perspective and a wide range of skill sets and capacities. Why are we not utilising the wealth of knowledge and experience of older people to develop and deliver community services that meet their needs?

We need a cultural mindshift which challenges the idea of older citizens being  “objects of charity” rather than active consumers

How do we change the narrative and think about a future where people look forward to later life with a wide range of choices to live a fulfilling life which is not dependent on health, locality or relationships?

Strangely people aged sixty plus are not one homogeneous group, we are as varied as individuals in any other sector of the population and our different life experiences inform our perspectives as consumers. Older people may have similar needs physically but these do not erase life experiences, preferences and orientations. Older people is not an identity but a statistical category

The budget deficit in health and care seems to have become a race to cut costs and shift responsibilities and places little value on the quality of life of the citizen  requiring long term care. Organisations with a focus on systems and processes are still negotiating block contracts for care services. Services are not being tailored to meet the personal needs, hopes and aspirations of older citizens. There appears to be a focus on medicalising later life care which ignores the health risks associated with loneliness and social exclusion amongst older citizens.

Our society has advanced in all aspects of life socially, medically, economically, technologically, environmentally. These advances have substantially redefined how we live our lives on a daily basis, how we travel (space, air, sea and land), how we communicate, how we work, how we manage our finances, how and what we buy, how we experience leisure and entertainment, and how we educate ourselves.  Yet the institutional principles which form the basis of long term care provision remains completely unaffected by such changes and have failed to develop in-step with these advances.

How do we make organisations culturally ready for moving from institutional thinking to person centred care which recognises how the adoption of digital technology can enhance the care and support available within communities? Digital does not have to mean no human contact. What it can do is free up the time for more face to face contact.

A gentle reminder that baby boomers expectations and aspirations have been shaped by:

1953 Francis Crick and James Watson discovering the structure of DNA.

1963 Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his historic “I Have a Dream” speech

1993 work on the Human Genome Project started

1969 Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to set foot on the moon

1971 Launch of the Open University

1973 Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon is released

1998 Google founded

1998 Launch of Apple iMac

2001  Launch of Wikipedia and the first Apple iPod..

2004 Facebook is founded

2006 Twitter was created

A serious question has to be asked about why the NHS and Social Care sectors who currently commission the majority of long term care have been so slow to develop a culture which promotes innovation. Market shaping exercises seem to assume the ‘status quo’ will continue indefinitely which is confirmed by the number of care providers now building new and larger care homes.

It is worth mentioning that my @nominettrust Provocation Paper published in 2013 highlighted how online innovations can enhance social care. Disappointingly I have seen very little mention of this in the Better Care Fund plans and the Care Act implementation.  Frankly I am astounded at the disconnect between what policy makers and care providers think is required in later life and how I see my my future which includes:

Robots as companions: Are we ready? @ManeeshJuneja

“I’d prefer a robot companion to 15 minutes of care by a worker on minimum wage struggling to provide quality care on a zero hour contract.“

Mobility is often a challenge for older citizens. Apart from decent and affordable public transport how could driverless cars keep people connected with their family, friends and the community?

Living choice for older citizens are influenced by standards, regulations, the design of new housing and lifetime homes. What are the options for retrofitting of existing housing stock; shared lives and co-housing. How can we support inclusive communities and neighbourhoods through urban design and planning?Where is the thinking across social care, health and housing about the importance of smart technology enabled homes

There are tough and uncomfortable questions to be discussed to inform the debate about how we can all look forward to a future without fear of being abandoned to a market where vital care and support is determined by our income and locality rather than our needs and personal preferences. We have to address the potential shortfall in both formal and informal carers in the future with more people living on their own who do not have families to support them.

I want a clear vision for the future which offers a coordinated system with many different life choices for citizens in later life. This is not just the responsibility of one sector it needs to engage each and every one of us at local, national and UK wide levels in a public debate about our hopes and aspirations for care in later life.

A substantial number of reports, research and articles informed the development of the Provocation Paper and I will be providing a follow up post which details the background reading.

My personal thanks to @MarkOneinFour  @Trinigyal44 @clarkmike @PaulBromford @ManeeshJuneja whose thinking and generous contributions as critical friends informed the development of the Provocation Paper. 

Keep connected with the debate!

Follow #LTCRevolution on Twitter for the latest debates.

Updated social media analytics and transcripts are available via Symplur @healthhashtags

@clarkmike covered the launch of the Long Term Care Revolution National Launch in the November TelecareLin newsletter.

@PaulBromford calls for radically different views of age and skills in his post A Revolution in Care Requires a Revolution in Thinking

The new Radio 4 series The Invisible Age is looking at the issue of sixty plus age groups encompassing several generations and how we as a society regard older citizens. The recent You and Yours programme asked the question ‘do people treat you differently once you’re over 60’. I was invited to discuss with Winifred Robinson our attitudes to ageing, whether people are ignoring ageing issues and why we need a long term care revolution.

 

The most powerful need we humans have is to be connected and to remain connected. Social media provides unrivalled opportunities for all of us to contribute to the long term care debate. I would love you to add thoughts, comments and share your dreams about the choices you would like in later life!

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Can digital technology help make connected care a reality? #psicare

There are six Breakout sessions at Connected Care Camp being held on Saturday 7th December. Below is a brief list of some of the many online resources available. Using technology and thanks to @clarkmike we now have a Connected Care Mindmap with lots of resources to inform our discussions at the event.  if you have a resource you would like to add to the Mindmap please tweet a link to the relevant URL using #psicare

Social Isolation, Loneliness and the impact on health and wellbeing

Joseph Rowntree Foundation #Loneliness Resource Pack
How can we ensure a good quality of life for adults in residential care and housing with support. This means having a sense of purpose and full inclusion within the community with strong social contacts and mental stimulation.

 “ Residents reported being able to look at websites to do with their interests and hobbies, use internet shopping sites and communicate with family members, often overseas. Some had already noted beneficial impact on their carer’s ability to help manage their condition.”

Get Connected programme Social Care Institute for Excellence

Examples of how digital technology in empowering and supporting the health and wellbeing of individuals.

Information, advice and support across the care, health and housing sectors.

Connected Communities

How digital technology is supporting individuals to connect in different ways and live more independent and fulfilling lives within the community.

One of the simplest needs is the ability to stay in touch with family and friends who may be widely dispersed. There are a range of online tools available to address the practical tasks of co-ordinating the care and support of an individual.

Virtual, online and microvolunteering provide different ways for people to contribute to their communities online

Digital Literacy, Inclusion and the Barriers to Technology Adoption
Accessing and learning about the digital world can be a challenge for many groups in the UK.  Getting started on the internet – a brief guide
The challenges of Integrated Care

User and patient engagement and the personalisation of services

How can technology world encourage more patient and user engagement? Are public services signposting people to the many online support forums now available?

Follow Connected Care Camp and join in the discussions on Twitter using the hashtag #psicare

Isolation in residential care – a problem to solve at #psicare thanks to @mandy_paine_mbe

We have a whole range of problems to explore and find solutions to at the Connected Care Camp on the 7th December which are being added to as more people complete our survey. If you have not yet completed the survey about what the priorities are please do because we are learning so much from your responses!

The following Twitter conversation is a stark reminder of what needs to change urgently in the care sector. Thanks to Mandy Paine for allowing me to cite this conversation.

Are we seriously accepting that this is an acceptable level of care for older people living with dementia?

This is one of a number of practical problems  we will be encouraging Connected Care Camp participants to explore and suggest possible solutions and action points

We will also be helping people to understand who has the responsibiliy for making change.  This may include connecting with Jeremy Hunt Secretary of State for Health @Jeremy_Hunt,  Norman Lamb Minister of State for Care and Support @normanlamb , Jon Rouse Director General for Social Care@RouseJonDGDH,  Andrea Sutcliffe Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care@Crouchendtiger7@NHSEngland, Healthwatch England the consumer champion for health and care, @HealthwatchE,  @SCIE_socialcare,  @TLAP1 , @skillsforcare@skillsforhealth  and the Chief Executives of professional bodies and charities working in the field of dementia, isolation, loneliness and improving residential care.

Connected Care Camp survey – what are the priorities?

Connected Care Camp on the 7th December is bringing together front line staff, managers, people who use health and care services as well as carers to explore how we can improve the wider care sector including housing.

Connected Care Camp is part of the Public Service Launchpad a new programme to help passionate people who work either paid or unpaid in all kinds of public services – whether in local government, housing associations, health services, the third sector, social enterprises or elsewhere to develop ideas to solve the problems that they encounter every day. Ideas can involve small changes or radical redesign of services.

Not everyone can attend this one-off event in person but you can join in on Twitter using the hashtag #psicare.

We know what many of the problems are, many are making headlines on a daily basis so we are looking for solutions that work and that can scale. We need a clearer vision of what works and who could benefit so that we can optimise the skills and resources we currently have. This includes decommissioning services that are not effective.

In a fragmented health and care system we need to be clear about who has responsibilities for action, how organisations and communities can be more effective and how health, care and housing can be better co-ordinated around people who could benefit.

To help us organise the day and better engage the wider community via social media we would welcome your responses to our survey.

Click here to take the survey

Find out more about Connected Care Camp and book your place here

Communicating differently – the value of social media #kidsorg13

This week I am running a social media workshop for Camden Special Parents Forum part of KIDS London which provides a wide range of direct support services for disabled children, young people and their families. KIDS’ vision is a world in which all disabled children and young people realise their aspirations and their right to an inclusive community which supports them and their families. @SpfCamden 

It is always interesting developing a presentation for an unknown audience some of whom may be very confident using social media and others yet to be convinced that it has any value in their day to day lives. There is just so much to share and a post can only provide a snapshot of all the resources available.

“Young people don’t see the risk of social media but older people don’t see the power” @nickkeane speaking at the European Conference on Social Media and Policing Lisbon. It is important that we keep people safe online but not make it so scary that the opportunities for engaging, sharing and learning are lost.

Twitter has been described by  Om Malik  as “the pulse of our planet, one that gives the internet a sense of humanity”

Digital technology and social networks provide some of the most powerful tools available today for building a sense of belonging, support and sharing. Over 30 million people in the UK are now using social media, Twitter is used by over 230 million people every month and 24 milllion Britons use Facebook every day.

The impact of digital technology on how we communicate, access services and find information has radically transformed how we conduct our everyday lives and our relationships with others. We can learn so much from each other. A request on Twitter for thoughts about the value of social media for carers produced this lovely response:

You may not guess this but I’m a big fan of social media. The ability to connect with people across the world, the diverse articles posted that one may not otherwise see and instant access to breaking news before any other medium make Twitter an incredibly valuable resource. Importantly social media enables individuals and small organisations to have a much bigger voice and be involved in the many online discussions which are informing and shaping the development of care services.

I am just one person running a small digital engagement consultancy with a few trusted associates and this is my digital footprint! It is worth exploring Twitter tools such as @RebelMouse and @vizify to enhance your social media presence.

Twitter @shirleyayres

LinkedIn: uk.linkein.com/in/shirleyayres

Blog: Connecting Social Care and Social Media

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/disruptivesocialcare

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisruptiveSocialCare

RebelMouse my social front page: https://www.rebelmouse.com/shirleyayres

VizifyTwitter video : https://www.vizify.com/shirley-ayres/twitter-video

But connection isn’t about platforms or tools. It’s about people.

On Twitter you can connect with Norman Lamb Minister of State for Care and Support @normanlamb , Jon Rouse Director General for Social Care @RouseJonDGDH,  Andrea Sutcliffe Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care @Crouchendtiger7 and the Chief Executives of most charities working in the field of disability.

Information is freely shared through social media. For example Netbuddy encourages the swapping practical tips and information on all aspects of supporting people with learning disabilities @netbuddytoptips

 Enabled by Design is a community of people who are passionate about well-designed, everyday products that challenge the one-size-fits-all approach to assistive equipment. Enabled by Design encourages people to share their views and experiences of assistive equipment, share wish lists about improving products and services, and post information, reviews and comments. @enabledby

One of the simplest needs for people is the ability to stay in touch with family and friends who may be widely dispersed. There are a range of online tools available to maintain and strengthen connections and address the practical tasks of co-ordinating the care  of an individual. Personal support networks provide a safe, moderated online space which can connect family, friends and professionals providing formal and informal care. Examples include:  Tyze, Yecco, Rally-Round and My People and Places

Getting started on Twitter

I hope workshop participants will be excited by the potential offered by social media and I am looking forward to welcoming more people to the wonderful world of social media!

The Twitter Help centre provides useful guidance and Mashable have produced the Twitter Guide Book.

Useful tips to guide you in developing your own personal social media policy have been produced by Paul Taylor @paulbromford.  Thanks for sharing Paul!

I will be taking note of the questions and issues raised at #kidsorg13 and will add further resources after the workshop.

Welcome to the Connected Care Camp on 7th December 2013 #psicare

“The role for many public service organisations is to actively mainstream the innovation that is already out there. There are loads of innovators and entrepreneurs who just need a route to market. Some of them may already be employed by you.” Paul Taylor Innovation Coach Bromford speaking on the Disruptive Social Care podcast May 2013

Public Service Launchpad is a new programme to help passionate people who work either paid or unpaid in all kinds of public services – whether in local government, housing associations, health services, the third sector, social enterprises or elsewhere to develop ideas to solve the problems that they encounter every day. Ideas can involve small changes or radical redesign of services.

As part of the scholarship programme and to encourage wider participation across care the Connected Care Camp has been organised on Saturday 7th December from 10.00 – 4.30 in London.

We want to encourage front line staff, managers and people who use care services to come along and share experiences, wisdom and ideas about how we can improve care services.

Here are some of the problems we know about in the care sector

  • How can health and care services support people who are lonely and isolated – there’s a million of them
  • People struggle to find information, guidance and advice – how can we improve the systems?
  • How can we support more connected communities?
  • Are there any alternatives to the 15 minute care visits?
  • How could doctors, nurses, social workers and support staff better coordinate care planning and visits?
  • How can we support people with disabilities to live more independent and fulfilling lives?
  • Why don’t all hospitals and care homes have wi-fi and internet access?
  • How can we support staff, people who use care services, carers and volunteers to improve their digital skills and feel more confident using technology?
  • Why don’t care homes have video links to GPs and hospital doctors to avoid unnecessary visits and disruption?
  • How can digital technologies can give people more control of their care and support and make person centred care a reality?
  • How can  technology  help develop the local care market place?
  • How can digital technology  help to support carers & care networks?
  • How can technology  help to reduce unplanned or readmissions to hospitals and  ensure effective discharges?
  • There are particular challenges for people living in rural areas to access services & products . How can technology  help us to address the rural premium?

Do you have any great ideas about how we can fix these and the many challenges confronting the care sector?

Do use #psicare to join in the Twitter discussions before and during the day.

Connected Care Camp Programme 

9.30 – 10.00 Registration

10.00 – 10.15 Welcome

10.15 – 10.45 Introductions

10.45 – 11.15 What could community care and support look like in the 21st Century? A wish list (small group discussion)

11.15 – 11.30 Break

11.30 – 12.00 Feedback and Discussion

12.00 – 1.00 What do we need to start doing, what do we need to stop doing and  what do we need to carry on doing?

1.00 – 1.45 Lunch

1.45  – 2.45 Choice of themed  sessions exploring opportunities for innovation

  • Community Connections
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Digital Inclusion
  • Residential Care and Housing with Support
  • Social Media workshop to develop confidence and share expertise about the use and potential of digital tools

2.45 – 3.45 Themed sessions repeated

3.45 – 4.15 Panel debate “Next Steps”

4.15 – 4.30 Closing Remarks

By the end of the day you will:

  • Have made at least 10 new contacts who are involved in the care, health,  housing and voluntary sectors
  • Shared emerging and good practice
  • Discussed and received feedback on your ideas
  • Learned about at least 20 current innovations across the care sector

It should be noted that the care sector is a complex and fragmented market and the adoption of new ideas is not easy and present many challenges.

A roundup of Connected Care Camp posts, resources and videos #psicare

Our latest Disruptive Social Care podcasts!

Praise indeed!

How to keep up to date with news. innovations and events in care – my online roladex system!

Such a great interview with Dominic Campbell inspirational founder of Future Gov that we did not want to edit it but decided to give it to you in two parts!

And because it was so good a reminder of our interview with Paul Taylor Innovation Coach at Bromford!

Digital technology and care – how do we promote more connected thinking?

The care my parents received in later life was important to me, my family and our friends.I know how much they would have enjoyed finding out about and using digital technology!

I was reminded of this when reading over 65 papers produced by more than 30 organisations exploring ageing, innovation, digital technology and access to information and resources. There is so much potential for digital technology to enable people to make new connections, contribute to person-centred support, develop community networks and new models of care so an obvious question is what is stopping more widespread adoption?

There is no shortage of innovations in digital technology and millions of pounds are being spent supporting further developments. It is less clear about the application, impact and usage of these innovations. One problem is the limited awareness in the sector and amongst the public about what is available and it’s value. I believe that a big deficit is the lack of a strategic approach to embedding digital technology in the range of options to support people to live more fulfilling lives. Most days I am answering questions about suitable technology products and services.(Sadly this is  not a service I am funded to provide so inevitably help is limited by my availability). A major reason why I produced the Click Guide to Digital Technology for Adult Social Care is to forge connections across a seemingly disparate sector which ranges from entrepreneurs, practitioners,  commissioners and self funding customers.

I welcome the Ageing and Innovation programme being developed by Nesta with a focus on innovating across our social institutions. The Living Map of Ageing Innovations highlights many interesting innovations.  #5hrsaday

Sharpening the Care Diamond by Matthew Taylor Chief Executive of the RSA  explores society’s capacity for providing care which comprises the market, the state, close family and the wider community.

David Wilcox and his team have been asking challenging questions in the Nominet Trust exploration  into using technology later in life “We know lots about innovation, digital tech & #socialcare now who will make it useful?” #dtlater

I recommend reading the inspiring approach developed by the Asset Based Community Development  Institute which focus on developing new ideas and strategies which are not needs based and funding-led, but instead use assets more effectively and promote citizen led initiatives. A recent discussion with Cormac Russell a faculty member of the ABCD Institute confirmed the importance of supporting  communities to actively engage in a democratic and inclusive way in co-producing stronger, safer and healthier neighbourhoods.

It is definitely worth following the Kings Fund Time to Think Differently programme aimed at stimulating debate about the changes needed for the NHS and social care to meet the challenges of the future. Excellent infographics and an analysis of future trends. #kfthink

These and many other initiatives are ensuring that technology acts as an enabler; exploring how community support can be developed;  promoting the user perspective in developing technologies and enabling people to live well with long term conditions. But I am most aware that there is a real need to encourage more strategic thinking which promotes collaboration and connected strategies. It is also essential that we can provide evidence of impact and outcomes in the use of digital technology. There are a lot of sceptics to be convinced! Individuals and organisations  need to have confidence in the products and services being provided by digital technology. Whilst many health technologies are possibly over evaluated much of the digital technology being developed for care is under evaluated.

I am concerned about potential duplication with the number of age and innovation projects currently underway. There does seem to be a lack of collaboration amongst organisations, researchers and innovators. How can we encourage the sharing of resources in ways that are discoverable for people requiring care and support, their family and friends and service commissioners?

There are a number of challenges. The care sector is complex and fragmented with a seemingly narrow focus on residential and home care. For me wellbeing comprises all of the services which make each of us feel safe, secure and supported in our community whatever our age or personal circumstances. I really hope the Health and Wellbeing Boards will be a catalyst for connecting key players in local communities  which includes  social services, health, housing, education, leisure services, the police, economic regeneration, charities and social enterprises , private providers and of course the purchasers and recipients of services.

We need to think differently  about how care is provided and there is a critical role for community development in  identifying and supporting  community builders and connectors  who may not be involved with any of the organisations represented on the Health and Wellbeing Boards.

In my paper for the Nominet Trust “Can online innovations enhance social care?” I suggest we explore the potential for developing a Community Wellbeing and Social Technology Innovation Hub. There are many organisations thinking about how care can be delivered more effectively with a focus on the needs and aspirations of the individual requiring support. I believe we need to develop a coherent and independent voice which will facilitate connections and challenge silo thinking amongst the hundreds of potentially competing stakeholders with an interest in this area. Mapping networks and community hubs would be a good start. We also urgently need to create a better shared understanding of technology innovations, the benefits and the limitations.

Just imagine if there was one trusted source where you could access the latest information about care and support innovations, get advice about selecting hardware and choosing apps, find support to get and stay online and understand which organisations are funding, researching and promoting digital technology across the wider care sector.

The way forward?

Convene a roundtable for all the funders of digital technology to explore   collaboration, sharing practice and a common approach to evaluating and promoting the outcomes and impacts of their investment.

Provide signposts which enable care recipients, their families and carers to find out what technology products and services are available, both through statutory services or to purchase independently.

Create, promote and participate in events that showcase innovations in care which could be adopted by local authorities, the NHS and housing providers.

Map all of the digital community hubs (however defined) which are available to ensure that people have access to local resources.  This would also identify areas where there is currently no support available.

Benchmark levels of awareness about technology innovations across the care sector and work with key players to promote and share the benefits of innovation.

I welcome your thoughts and ideas here or through Twitter @shirleyayres using the hashtag #deukcare

Information overload for social care?

I have been impressed and, to be honest slightly overwhelmed, by the number of new personalisation and social care publications launched at the Children and Adult Services Conference 2011 last week. Excellent information and case studies but I do wonder who will have the opportunity to read, digest and act upon all of the many conclusions and recommendations. My starting point for this post was helpfully provided by Jackie Rafferty asking the question “what support do I need to live as independently as possible?

One of the key publications for me is the Think Local Act Personal Partnership (TLAP) “Making it Real: New citizen-led approach for councils, organisations and people to check progress with personalisation and community-based support” This provides a set of statements from people who use services and carers which set out what they would expect, see and experience if personalisation is working well in an organisation. The markers will help organisations involved in commissioning and delivering care and support- from councils to providers of in-home, residential or nursing care – to look at their current practice, identify areas that need improvement and develop plans for change.

In early 2012, everyone involved in care and support will be able to go to the TLAP website to declare their commitment to use Making it Real as a way of showing they are committed to personalisation and be awarded the TLAP logo. An approach to assess the quality of an organisations declaration and use of a TLAP logo is currently being tested. There will also be a nationally-led citizen survey which will allow citizens to feedback on an organisations progress against the markers. The Care Quality Commission are undertaking a mapping exercise to see how the markers fit with relevant essential standards of safety and quality.

How will progress be evaluated – what are the Key Themes and Criteria?

1) Information and Advice: having the information I need, when I need it

2) Active and supportive communities: keeping friends, family and place

3) Flexible integrated care and support: my support, my own way

4) Workforce: my support staff

5) Risk enablement: feeling in control and safe

6) Personal budgets and self-funding: my money

My recent report ‘The future for personalisation? service users, carers & digital engagement’ produced in collaboration with The Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services highlighted the many charities and social enterprises who are using social media channels to provide innovative responses to the need for social care information and support. In contrast there is a real need for managers and leaders within public service organisations to develop and extend the empowerment of front-line staff, to support their engagement with people and communities.

It does occur to me that it would be useful to have some benchmarks now to share current good practice and social innovation in social care. “The marketplace for social care good and services is likely to continue evolve as the online marketplaces mature, as the mainstream providers players extend their offering and as service users continue to exploit the opportunities for networking afforded by social media. Because of its inherent decentralised, or bottom-up, nature, social media may offer the key to sustainability.”

The support that each person requires to live independently is unique and can be provided in many different ways. I believe our biggest challenge is connecting people, ideas and knowledge across the whole of the care sector to make a reality of person-centred care. And as a matter of urgency we need to simplfy and demystify the language of social care!