This week we’re really pleased to be publishing, with some of our closest allies, a paper which sets out how the government could make a better ‘front end’ for social care. In other words, what happens when someone first encounters the social care system. It uses real people’s experiences of assessments and discussion about eligibility for services to ask what those processes do to a person’s independence and to their relationships with their family and community. At the moment, whilst most of use the NHS fairly regularly, and our local GP is often a familiar and friendly face for the NHS, our first experience of social care is usually in a crisis, and can be first and foremost about how much money we have (Are you poor enough to be our problem?) and about our needs, rather than our choices and the resources and relationships we might be able to draw on (Are you needy and vulnerable enough to be our problem?).
The imminent (early July now??!) White Paper is an opportunity to create a system which feels more like a partnership, and less like a battle.
The partners in the paper include ourselves, our sister organisation Community Catalysts, In Control, Inclusive Neighbourhoods and Partners in Policymaking. We’d all be interested in your reaction to these ideas – if the government is really going to create a friendlier, more cooperative and collaborative social care system out of the funding-squeezed battleground many experience, they are going to need all the ideas and help they can get.
See “Redesigning the front end of social care” here: http://www.sharedlivesplus.org.uk/en/publications-resources/free-publications/policy-research-campaigns/