Social care – unlocking a positive, productive and connected life

Social care – unlocking a positive, productive and connected life

Part one: Setting the scene before revealing the transformation.

Cwmpas, funded by Welsh Government, set out to help commissioners and service managers invest in different delivery models of social care. We believe that changes to social care can benefit everyone.

We put out a call to commissioners to work with us to test our approach to transforming social care. Our aim is to achieve this is by investing in different models of delivery. Carmarthenshire’s Community Inclusion team responded to our call; the team responsible for delivering day time services for adults with a learning disability.

The Social Service and Well-being (Wales) Act came into effect in April 2016, intending to create a more sustainable social care sector which could be accomplished through fulfilling people’s well-being, ‘what matters’ to them, as they define it. To do this, the legislation says we must re-conceive and re-design social care in line with the principles of the Act.

During fortnightly (virtual) meetings we worked with two of the Community Inclusion team managers, first to evaluate, and then to re-design day services for adults by drawing heavily on the principles of the Act. Typically adults with a learning disability have a limited choice on how to spend their days, which can be determined by a menu of activities that have has little to do with what they enjoy or want to achieve.

With the two managers we set about radically re-thinking and re-designing the County’s Day services by building future day “opportunities” around each principle. The first step in our transformation programme is to understand the practical implementation of the principles as follows:

1. Well-being outcomes

This is to make a positive change to people’s lives rather than just delivering on service inputs and outputs.

2. Co-production / Voice and control

Involving people is essential for finding out “what matters”, taking the right action and maintaining that conversation.

3. Collaboration and partnership

Through real collaboration and partnerships, we can increase opportunities and resources for achieving people’s well-being.

4. Prevention / Early Intervention

Working in a preventive way and working earlier reduces the loss of well-being and increases the independence of people who currently use services.

5. Added Value

Acting on principles 1 to 4 above guarantees that we add value to the way we invest in and deliver social care – we are now working towards the well-being of the whole local population.

In May 2021, one of the managers told us what she learnt from the second step of the transformation programme, this is the step where we evaluated the County’s existing day service against the above principles:

“It highlighted what works and what does not work… and gave motivation and clarity in relation to improvements needed and next steps. We did find elements of good person-centred practice, but our dominant approach was to provide a service and be building-driven. Those services were delivered in silos based on diagnosis and located around main towns, the closer to home model was not evident. Packages of support were commissioned based on what’s available and dependable, not always on what matters to someone”.

Eighteen months on, in October 2022, an update received on the transformation of the service from the team manager has shaped Part 2 of our blog on social care – unlocking a positive, productive and connected life.