Monday, September 19, 2016

Health and social care integration in Kirklees

Background

We have worked to develop collaborative leadership across health and social care systems in a number of localities. In Kirklees we were asked to support the creation of a integrated mental health commissioning system as an exemplar from which the whole system could learn.

What did we do

A very senior group of leaders worked together over a number of sessions to develop a shared set of principles and goal – and a series of practitioner workshops began to flesh out what this would mean for front line services. Recognising that success would depend on the strength of relationships between staff in different organisations, we designed and delivered a ‘Skills for Systems Leadership Programme’ for the public health, social care and CCG senior teams – agreeing key health outcomes and providing the skills and techniques that enabled cross-organisational teams to develop shared approaches to changing behaviour and tackling long-standing problems.

Outcome

The programme built a strong network of organisations and individual leaders, a shared understanding of systems pressures and agreement about the way forward. The work included providing individual coaching and support to key leaders, facilitation and team coaching sessions for top managers and partnerships. The final stage of the programme was to create a dramatic ‘future scenario’ event for fifty or so participants including the voluntary and community sector, from which partner organisations developed a set of principles to guide future shared direction.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Evaluation of the Reducing Social Isolation and Loneliness Grant Programme

Social isolation and loneliness in older people is a widespread issue that has gained much attention in recent years. We know that being isolated and lonely can impact on a person’s quality of life and lead to more intensive use of health and social care services.  

In Manchester the three Clinical Commissioning Groups provided grant funding targeted to reduce social isolation and loneliness amongst Manchester residents aged 50+. Grants were awarded to voluntary sector organisations to deliver 27 projects across the city. The Programme ran from September 2014 until March 2016 and was managed by Manchester Community Central (Macc).

OPM was commissioned to evaluate the Grant Programme. The evaluation sought to demonstrate outcomes and provide evidence around ‘what works and why’.

This presentation was delivered at the final Programme celebration event attended by representatives from the CCGs, other North West CCGs, Manchester City Council, Macc, local research organisations, plus VCS leads and volunteers from across the city. It presents the headline findings from the evaluation and showcases two projects in depth. Our final evaluation report will be available in the coming months.

Click here to download the presentation slides.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Evaluation of the Reducing Social Isolation and Loneliness Grant Programme

Social isolation and loneliness in older people is a widespread issue that has gained much attention in recent years. We know that being isolated and lonely can impact on a person’s quality of life and lead to more intensive use of health and social care services.

In Manchester the three Clinical Commissioning Groups provided grant funding targeted to reduce social isolation and loneliness amongst Manchester residents aged 50+. Grants were awarded to voluntary sector organisations to deliver 27 projects across the city. The Programme ran from September 2014 until March 2016 and was managed by Manchester Community Central (Macc).

OPM was commissioned to evaluated the Grant Programme. The evaluation sought to demonstrate outcomes and provide evidence around ‘what works and why’.

This presentation was delivered at the final Programme celebration event attended by representatives from the CCGs, other North West CCGs, Manchester City Council, Macc, local research organisations, plus VCS leads and volunteers from across the city. It presents the headline findings from the evaluation and showcases two projects in depth. Our final evaluation report will be available in the coming months.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Evaluation of the Multi-Systemic Therapy Social Impact Bond

Evaluation of the Essex Multi-Systemic Therapy Social Impact Bond

Essex County Council (ECC) Family Operations Service currently provides access to Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST) to young people who meet the referral criteria. This service is aimed at supporting young people and their families where there is a risk of a young person entering care (which also includes young people remanded into custody), and has the intention of keeping the young person within the family home whenever it is safe to do so. This service is being funded via a Social Impact Bond (SIB) and is being delivered by an external provider.

In 2013 OPM were commissioned to deliver a three-year independent evaluation of the MST SIB, using funding from Central Government.

The evaluation will generate:

The evaluation involves capturing both qualitative and quantitative data. This is the first of two interim reports and presents the findings from the first eighteen months of evaluation activities. The evaluation will run until March 2016, culminating in a final summative report.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Introduction of the new Care Act

The launch of the new Care Act today marks the biggest set of changes to adult social care legislation since the formation of the NHS in 1948.

At OPM we’re really looking forward to seeing the impact of this policy in practice, having delivered a variety of projects for different clients in this area. Last year we worked with the Department of Health on a system-wide event exploring the impact of the Act on residential care markets, with an eagerly anticipated report in the works. More recently Hertfordshire County Council (@HertsTraining) tweeted pictures from the launch workshops for the toolkit we’ve developed with them which uses case scenarios to support social workers in the new ways of working the Act requires.

OPM has also supported Social Care Institute of Excellence (SCIE) in drafting some of the guidance around The Care Act: assessment and eligibility.

For any further information about our work in this area, please get in touch with Lawrence Finkle on lfinkle@opm.co.uk.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Social care has a role in preventing hate crime, it’s not just a criminal justice issue

A multi-agency hate crime care pathway will raise much-needed awareness of the issue, says Dr Chih Hoong Sin

In an article published in Community Care in June 2014, I argued that it is important for care agencies to recognise their role in preventing hate crime, and not to see it purely as a criminal justice issue. In a subsequent blog for the International Network for Hate Studies, I said that health and social care agencies can play three critical roles in relation to hate crime:

In the latter half of 2014, I started working with Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust and its partners on developing a hate crime care pathway. Leicestershire has been at the forefront of efforts to respond to the challenge of getting health and social care services to acknowledge their multiple roles in relation to hate crime. It is heartening that others, such as NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde with Glasgow City Council and Police Scotland, have a similar commitment to develop joined-up approaches. There is a real desire to learn and share which is why I want to describe some of the key steps we have been taking in Leicestershire and explain the rationale behind the approach.

You can read the full version of this article on the Community Care website

Friday, January 30, 2015

Towards a hate crime care pathway: lessons from Leicestershire

It is Hate Crime Awareness Week, and I would like to take the opportunity to assert the importance of reframing hate crime beyond its narrow criminal justice focus. In a blog for the International Network for Hate Studies last year, I argued that health and social care agencies can play three critical roles in relation to hate crime: (1) to provide treatment and support to hate crime victims; (2) to help prevent hate crimes by identifying and acting on the early indicators of repeat victimization; and (3) as potential offenders, particularly in institutional care settings, where professionals may perpetrate acts commonly termed ‘abuse’ against inpatients.

In the latter half of 2014, I started working with Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust and its partners on developing a hate crime care pathway. We hope to share learning in order to inspire and encourage others to develop joined up approaches to tackle hate crime and support hate crime victims.

Making it real for health and social care

As a first step, we need to understand the context in which health and social care professionals are working within. For example:

The implications of all the above are then drawn out for health and social care professionals and agencies so that the issues are ‘made real’ for them. For example:

A conceptual framework

Building on the above, we developed a conceptual framework for informing potential solutions. This involved clustering services into ‘acute’, ‘primary’, ‘community’ and ‘specialised’. Within each of these headings, we worked with partners to identify the types of services that played a supportive and/or prevention function, as well as whether service users are likely to present with physical and/or mental health conditions.

As a result of this, we came to the following recommendations:

Thursday, October 9, 2014

KIDS launches free information to support everyone affected by the new Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) reforms

Leading disabled children’s charity KIDS has just launched a new suite of resources to support families and carers of disabled children, commissioners and providers, to help them navigate the reforms to Special Educational Needs and Disability provision.

As part of the ‘Making it Personal:2’ project, sponsored by the Department for Education, OPM worked with KIDS to develop these resources, which explore how personal budgets and the local offer will benefit families. The suite aims to reach a range of audiences to help them understand how they can use the new system to their advantage and provide a holistic service to families and carers.

It includes:

Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson said:

“I’m proud we’ve sponsored these fantastic resources which will complement our SEND reforms. Children, young people and their families will now be at the centre of a more simple, joined-up system that provides the support they deserve. We’re committed to helping families get the best information possible about the new system that will help children and young people with SEND from birth to 25.”

Regional events to support this will be taking place from October 2014 to March 2015.

If you have any questions about this project, or would like to discuss it further, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Claire Lazarus at clazarus@opmassociates.co.uk or call 0845 055 3900.

 

 

Monday, September 1, 2014

25th anniversary guest blog series: Self-supporting and strong communities can be key to tackling isolation

My Mother died ten years ago. She received home care services that supported her to get up in the morning. This in turn helped her to go across the road to the local primary school and do sessions with the young children; she told them about what life was like between the wars. This experience helped her retain her own sense of worth, it was good for the school and it benefitted the wider community too. The moral? Let’s see services that remove barriers to active participation, and never as just ends in themselves.

I’d like to see the development of more safe, strong, self-supporting communities. Gone should be the days when we’d tick the box that says: ‘social care; done’, especially if that means that someone was bussed to a day centre miles away from home for the day, only to return to a life of isolation.

I did qualify my statement above by saying “MORE safe, strong, self-supporting communities”, because of course excellent examples exist already. There are, and always have been, individuals and groups within communities, formal and informal, who, with a minimum of fuss, provide all sorts of help and support to those who need it; and friendship too.  But undoubtedly there is more to do, especially given the unprecedented financial constraints under which service providers are now operating.

One of our films on Social Care TV looks at isolation in Dorset and how it’s being addressed. It introduces Brian, who, in the film, has recently lost his wife and says that he didn’t much care, if he was crossing a busy main road, whether he got to the other side or not. But by being encouraged to go to a local tea dance, Brian is shown to be healthier, happier and less isolated.

The Guardian newspapers says the problem of social isolation is so severe that they’ve included it as one of the five modern giant evils that must be tackled by people working in the public and voluntary services. A recent Guardian panel of experts, including a colleague from SCIE, discussed how professionals from local government, social care, healthcare and the voluntary sector can work together in tackling isolation.

At SCIE we’ve produced an At a glance guide to older people and isolation. In it we said that, as the UK’s population rapidly ages, the issue of acute loneliness and social isolation is one of the biggest challenges facing our society. It’s a moral and financial necessity to address it, for the sake of both the people concerned and the wider community. And let’s also remember that carers can also be isolated, so their needs should be addressed.

Let’s start to remove barriers to people having active citizenship roles. They may need to have the appropriate care and support to achieve this, but it’s worth it, surely? I know it was for my Mother.

Tony Hunter is Chief Executive of the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)

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About the series

OPM is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and as a public interest organisation, we’ve always contributed to the debate about the future of public services.

With this and the next general election in mind, we’ve asked a number of senior thinkers to give their views on the challenges and opportunities facing public services and society in the near future.

This is one of a series of guest blogs, which we’ll be adding to in the coming weeks and months. To read previous posts in the series, go to our news and comment page.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Countdown to the local offer for children with SEND

It might not seem like it as we bask in the midsummer heat, but September is coming up fast and local authorities are preparing to implement their ‘local offer’ for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) from 1st September. The local offer is basically what it says on the tin: what’s on offer for children and young people with SEND and their families, in their local area, and councils are working now to get all the information about this offer into one comprehensive and accessible place.

My fellow OPM researchers and I have been visiting families in a number of areas which took part in the SEND pathfinder evaluation, piloting the education, health and care (EHC) plan which will replace the annual statement of SEN over the next few years. As part of our interviews with families we’ve been asking whether they are aware of their local offer and what they think about it. There’s a mixed picture – some haven’t heard of it at all, while others have, but don’t know what it is yet. But there is one common theme which is plenty of enthusiasm for the concept in principle. Unsurprisingly the parents we’ve talked to love the idea of having information, links and contacts for services that are relevant and accessible to their child or young person, in their area, all listed in one place.

Earlier this summer OPM helped Achieving for Children, a community interest company delivering children’s services in the London boroughs of Richmond and Kingston, to hold a series of engagement events where parents and school staff could find out more about the SEND changes and the local offer in their area. Again the general idea was welcomed: ‘it should have always been there’, and was seen as ‘a step towards greater transparency’. Some key messages from parents and staff who attended were:

Richmond and Kingston demonstrated in this engagement process an inclusive and genuinely co-produced approach to developing their local offer, and through it gained valuable input from those who have a real need and appetite for their local offer to meet their needs. Other councils are doing likewise, Darlington for example, who have a survey and wide array of resources on their local offer webpage. Many are drawing on expertise and materials from the Council for Disabled Children and a number of voluntary sector organisations are also offering helpful guides to the SEND reforms more generally.

But while lots of councils have developed smart and clear front-end pages for their local offers, where you can click on categories of services, actually clicking through reveals mixed levels of effectiveness in terms of content and searchability. An article on parent-led website Special Needs Jungle raises interesting questions about how far local offers will end up reflecting local need, if they are developed from a starting point of ‘what technology do we have’, rather than ‘what do users want?’  So concerns remain about how accessible the local offer will be come September and whether families will really notice the difference when they try to get information about what’s available to them. We’ll be continuing to meet with young people and parents in SEND pathfinder areas over the rest of this year and will be keen to find out how it’s panning out from their perspective.