Offering solutions for a system at ‘tipping point’

Featured article - 27 July 2017
By Paul Burstow, announced today as SCIE’s new chair

Head-shot of the author, Paul Burstow, announced today as SCIE’s new chair

The Care Quality Commission says our fragile social care system is ‘approaching a tipping point’. The signs and symptoms of a system running hot have pushed social care up news and political agendas. Despite this, understanding of social care remains a mile wide and an inch deep.

Social care is often reduced to little more than caricature: either shocking cases of abuse or a debate about how much public money is needed and how the bill should be split between taxpayer and individuals.

These are important questions but there is so much more to social care.

Business as usual or looking to people and communities

What are we trying to sustain? Business as usual or something more in tune with what people want, something they have co-created, something that looks to the strengths in people and communities?

SCIE has demonstrated through its work on asset-based places five building blocks to unlock the nascent potential in our communities.

NHS England CEO, Simon Stevens, says we need a radical upgrade in prevention and public health. I believe SCIE’s asset-based practice and insight can make a vital contribution to delivering that ambition.

The voice of people and families

Too often the voice of people who use services – and their families - is missing or the narrative is of victims rather than experts with lived experience.

SCIE’s history of impactful co-production with people who use services and carers can put people at the heart of place based planning. Sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) will succeed if they develop skills and behaviours that support collaboration and co-production.

Making quality matter

Good care is about people and relationships, not just organisations and processes.

The launch of Quality Matters has put improvement front and centre with SCIE playing its full part. SCIE’s bespoke training and consultancy has a track record of enabling lasting quality gains to be achieved.

I feel very privileged to be appointed as chair of SCIE. Times are tough, there is much to do, but tipping point or not the challenge for all of us in the sector is to offer solutions and do everything we can to make understanding of social care as deep as it is wide.

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