SCIE opinion – 7 January 2014

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Photograph of Iris Steen

NHS Change Day 2014: why social care should get involved

By Iris Steen, SCIE’s Head of Communications

NHS Change Day started with a single tweet in 2012. A small group of healthcare staff decided they wanted to do something better together. In 2013, over 189,000 people made their own personal pledge to do something different to improve care.

So what’s this got to do with social care? Well, everything. We know that you cannot really have effective healthcare without good social care. The next NHS Change Day will be on 3 March 2014, and we have a real opportunity to show how our sector can help to improve the experiences of people who use both health and social care services.

The mission is to inspire and mobilise people everywhere to take action through making a personal public pledge to make a difference, no matter how big or small. Everyone counts and every pledge matters.

All you need is an idea of what you could do to make a positive difference. Then you make a pledge – a simple promise to yourself and others that you will act on that idea and become a 'changemaker'.

You can make your personal or organisational pledge now and make sure that the role of social care is prominent throughout the campaign.

Lord Michael Bichard, chair of the Social Care Institute for Excellence, has already made his pledge:

I pledge that SCIE will make supporting integrated care and health a priority. We will provide practical support and resources to tackle the barriers to effective integration, ensure our work focuses on the outcomes that individuals want, and work in partnership with our NHS colleagues.

And care providers out there are also making their pledges, like George Coxon from Classic Care Homes in Devon:

We have developed a lot of positive action with health and social care partners sharing best practice and ideas on how we can do better to prevent avoidable admissions to acute hospitals for older frail elderly people. My pledge is that we redouble our efforts to explore more ways to address this through greater integration and steps to keep and get people out of hospital.

But we need social care to have a stronger voice in this campaign. If you care, or if you have an idea you think could help make health or social care a little bit better, please make a pledge. It is a way of taking collective responsibility to get on and do what we know needs to be done to improve care services.

Where to visit online

Visit www.changeday.nhs.uk

Twitter hashtag #nhschangeday

Links

Integration – SCIE’s online tool to help you achieve excellence

SCIE’s resources on health and social care integration

SCIE Research briefing 41: Factors that promote and hinder joint and integrated working between health and social care services

A version of this opinion piece was published in a recent newsletter from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) Knowledge Transfer Network and the Telecare Learning and Improvement Network.