Ewan King, Chief Operating Officer at the Social Care Institute for Excellence wrote this blog for the Richmond Group of charities here. Here is an extract:
In January along with our partners Think Local Act Personal we launched the DHSC-funded Care Innovation Network. Our goal is to answer this question: “How do we take proven person-centred models of care and support and bring them to more people?”
Locality leaders report that bringing the best to scale has perhaps been hindered for many reasons, in particular a short-term approach to funding, parochialism, lack of long-term planning – and regulatory barriers. But good initiatives have also failed to spread because statutory bodies have not always sufficiently engaged with others, especially the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector (VCSE) and citizens and communities. More engagement would support both the establishment of more innovative forms of care, and also their growth and expansion.
Alex Fox, CEO of Shared Lives Plus, in his review of VCSE’s involvement in delivering care, bemoaned the sector’s often peripheral role. He wrote: “Through drawing on people power as well as money, VCSE organisations are often uniquely able to offer support which looks at the whole person and whole family, thinking preventatively and whole-lifetime”. Moreover, VCSE organisations are increasingly creative in accessing resources such as social finance, and then applying different business models – such as franchising – to grow services.
The Care Innovation Network seeks an alternative route to growth of what works. In our network, we have many VCSE providers – like Shared Lives, Local Area Coordination and Stay up Late, so that they are part of the way forward from the outset. Working alongside us, applying co-production principles, are people with the experience of using services and their carers, so that solutions are well thought through, tested, and more likely to achieve the intended benefits of better experiences and outcomes.