By Sophie Coles
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) published a policy paper on Tuesday (24 October) entitled, “Accelerating reform in adult social care in England: priorities for innovation and scaling”.
The policy paper opens by reminding us of the Government’s 10-year vision which was set out in the People at the Heart of Care (2021) White Paper, and the focus on the White Paper’s three key objectives:
- People have choice, control and support to live independent lives.
- People can access outstanding quality and tailored care and support.
- People find adult social care fair and accessible.
What I loved about the foreword of this policy paper was that, throughout, the DHSC continually references examples of models or approaches which local authorities can adopt and case studies to support confidence. It also stated within its foreword that it would value local authorities informing it of great practice that is going on, so that this can support the growth of the evidence base for positive change within adult social care.
Struggling to see the wood for the trees?
Over my last 20 years in health and social care I have thought of the phrase, “struggling to see the wood for the trees”.
I truly think asking questions such as, “Given everything that’s going on, what’s most important right now” in meetings, 1-to-1’s, and to ourselves will enable us to pinpoint the key issues most clearly and prioritising planning sessions where we ask ourselves what will have the greatest impact, rather than responding reactively day in day out.
I believe recognition of the opportunities for growth and development of our operational staff, system leaders and systems as a whole are so important. Opportunities for this type of development are often not prioritised because of the never-ending treadmill we often feel we are running on. Adopting flexible approaches that can be adapted, rather than concrete goals or objectives (that often have a foundation of risk aversion!) can promote growth, inspired thinking and creativity.
Opportunities lie somewhere in the overwhelming fog of uncertainty. Be brave enough to step into the fog and find them. Be brave enough to prioritise adaptability and promote creativity across your services.