Opinions

Future of Social Care – Where and how people live

Written by: Fanchea Kelly, Chief Executive, Blackwood

Published: 28/10/2021

Future of Social Care

Fanchea Kelly, Chief Executive of Blackwood reflects on the importance of where and how we live are to getting it right.

In Blackwood we are delighted to see the new £10.02 per-hour rate for care and support workers. This is the right first step in creating the culture of trust and confidence in the Scottish Government’s promise to recognise the value of the important work our teams deliver– as ‘an investment in society’.

In the consultation on the National Care Service it is equally important that trust and confidence is built on bringing proposals to life. It will take time to get the final set of proposals right and to implement effectively. And that’s why joined-up actions over the next few years are a critical path to ‘getting it right for everyone’.

Our purpose in Blackwood is to help people live independently so that they can live life to the full. As a housing and care provider, we know that where and how we live are fundamental to getting it right.

Whether addressing the root causes of homelessness or ensuring people with complex needs have the right homes for, we want the NCS proposals to contain much more on obligations and accountabilities that embed how people live into the new frameworks and structures.

Our experience with IJBs is that the early focus on the structures and alignment of health and social care left housing partners out of the picture on too many important factors.  We know the framework and culture of working with partners must have much greater early emphasis. Scotland has plenty of learning from what has and hasn’t worked in integration over the last years. We need to see more of those lessons coming into practice in the new proposals.

  • We’d like to see clear obligations on the NCS and CHSCBs for housing partners to be built into the shared understanding, institutional structures, and early action plans, including representation on CHSCBs. The strategic importance of accessible housing is one the Minister supported strongly in his previous role – so rather than ‘housing services, people’s homes…’ hidden away under ‘Allied Health Professionals’ in the Glossary, we would like to see obligations on the NCS and CHSCBs to produce effective plans and programmes with housing providers, and make best use of people’s data on where and how they can live independently.
  • We advocate much clearer leadership on digital service and technology support for people – in effect reflecting the new Digital Health and Care Strategy – in the proposals. By doing so we will make best use of the human assets and capital – i.e. the people skills – to fulfil the intentions on prevention and early intervention. We know this shift won’t happen unless it takes the innovations in technology and assisted living – happening every day now – into account in planning the new models.  And leadership to do this is a key enabler.

Our three examples below – real products and services in place now, with real people – show our contribution to independent living. We’d love to see these, and many other examples, scaled up in the thinking about the NCS to make sure Scotland is ‘Getting it Right for Everyone’.

  • The Blackwood House uses technology and data to provide the most accessible and beautiful homes for independent living. It transforms the living environment and creates the place where health and care professionals can properly engage with people who live there.
  • Our CleverCogs based 24/7 Responder Services engages with people digitally (or in-person where needed) to support people on their terms, prevent crisis including hospital admission, and reduce demand on other services.
  • Our Neighbourhood programme, with its apt branding as ‘Peoplehood’, aims to identify what helps people live additional healthy and productive years – building places with people, sharing their data, knowing their health ‘indicators’, and creating motivation to help each other live well.

We know what’s possible – and we want a much deeper understanding of how a set of structures and functional policy areas have the right context and connections, the right obligations, and the right impetus to scale solutions from local examples to national programmes, working always from what people want for themselves, their family and friends, and with the best inspirations Scotland can offer.

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