SCIE media releases 2010

Innovation in social care - two new Social Care TV films

08 November 2010

We need to have the bravery and the intelligence to rethink from first principles; how public services are delivered and what we think they’re trying to achieve.

John Craig, The Innovation Unit, on Social Care TV.

Two new films look at the vital issue of innovation in social care. Innovation is becoming more important, with more demands, growing expectations and constrained resources for social care.

The films feature on Social Care TV, the unique website that hosts films but also allows viewers to watch segments of films, email parts of films to colleagues and houses resources on social care issues.

SCIE’s Director of Adult Services, David Walden, says:

Innovation and cost-effectiveness are high on the agenda for social care at the moment and these films show really good, practical examples of current innovation in social care. These schemes are essential viewing for those who want to improve outcomes and make public funds work better for people.

Here are three examples featured in the films:

The Shared Lives scheme

One film features Joszef. For many adults still developing living skills, traditional options have often been unsatisfactory. Joszef, a young man from Buckinghamshire, was all set for a life in residential accommodation and respite care. These are both costly options and Joszef’s quality of life would have been compromised. Instead, Ategi Shared Lives ‘placed’ him with  Lionel and Rita. The couple’s children had recently left home and there were two many ‘creaky floorboards’.  Joszef now feels more independent and Lionel and Rita have someone in the house to care for.

The ‘Home Sharer’ scheme

One film looks at how some people don’t fit into the current social care criteria; however,  without some support they wouldn’t be able to stay in their own home. The film featuresParm and Paul. Parm, who has just been through a divorce, has now moved into Paul’s house. Paul was living alone after his wife developed dementia. Parm provides an ‘official’ ten hours a week in care for Paul. The bonus is that Paul now feels safe in his home and also has a new companion.

Keyring scheme

The charity Keyring provides small networks; seeing vulnerable people sharing their skills and talents with each other and within their communities. People like Louise benefit, because she helps others and they help her. It’s overseen by a volunteer like Joanna. It can be worrying to meet strangers so Keyring members get to know each other, under safe conditions.

Policy context

SCIE responded to the Government’s October Spending Review by saying that whatever the resources provided, it’s vital to keep the focus on quality whilst providing cost-effectiveness. Pooling skills and knowledge across the NHS, voluntary and private sectors will be of increasing importance. These films provide practical examples of how this sort of joint-working can be effective. The Commission on the Funding of Care and Support is looking at this vital issue. However, funding social care is only part of the equation. People want quality services that are personalised and give them choice and control. The challenge is to provide those services within costs that can be sustained, using innovation.

Media contact

Steve Palmer | Press and Public Affairs Manager | Tel: 020 7766 7419 | Mob: 07739 458 192 | Email: