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‘I’m in awe of the people who have taken part’

Our Health and Care Director, Miriam Levin, reflects on the final sessions with the People’s Panel and Social Care Change Group.

Last week was the culmination of all the work that we’ve been doing on social care workforce. For the Ideas for Change phase, this was the moment where we brought all the groups back together to look at the emerging ideas.

The Social Care Change Group gave their reflections, making their final refinements and revisions to create a policy package they were happy and signed up to.

We also brought together the People’s Panel for the fourth and final time. We had a good session where they talked through the narrative. This is the story that we can tell – in a short, simple, engaging way.  

The Panel felt the ideas could each have a big impact and were really pleased with the outcome of the process. But also wondered where the funding would come from.

Which is entirely valid and what Engage Britain’s work around advocacy will focus on, going forward. But the most important thing, and where we wanted to start the process, was to understand what changes the Panel wanted to see. Then we can work out what the funding looks like.

We next hosted three Ideas Groups, who had previously convened in April. There’s a group of people who draw social care, a group of people who work on the frontline and a group of social care providers.

We brought them back to review the draft policy package to give their feedback. Then the final piece of the puzzle was bringing the Social Care Change Group back together again for their final two workshops.

And this was really crunch time. We were asking them to draw on all their experience – as somebody who’s a commissioner or a frontline member of staff and or a person who draws on care – and how they felt these ideas might work in practice. Going into the nuts and bolts of how to deliver this stuff.

Because the whole point is to end up with a practical set of policies that are going to work across the board in different parts of the sector. So that any politician could pick them up and say, ‘If we do this, it’s actually going to solve this massive challenge the country is facing’. And the Change Group did that brilliantly.

Looking back on the whole process over the last few months, I’m in awe of the people who have taken part. They have given up hours of their time, head space and energy to tackle an incredibly difficult job.

They have been so committed to the process and to coming up with solutions that change things for people. It’s humbling and I’m massively grateful.