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Ideas for Change: Methodology

Our Ideas for Change process aimed to develop realistic and practical solutions to help address the social care workforce staffing crisis, one of three key challenges identified by our People’s Panel.

To do this, we brought together people from all areas of the social care system to come up with ideas on how to recruit, train and retain high quality care workers and other care staff. 

Our groups met multiple times over a six month period to develop and stress test their ideas.  

Structure and recruitment of our co-design group

The Social Care Change Group comprised 19 members drawn from across the social care system, including:  

  • People who draw on care: This included those who received care at home, and those who employed a personal assistant
  • Care workers: Including those who work for local authorities, private care agencies and self-employed personal assistants   
  • Care providers: Including representatives from large and small private companies and non-profit care providers 
  • Commissioners and Directors of Adult Social Services: Those working in local authorities responsible for commissioning and running care services  
  • Principle Social Workers – people employed by Local Authorities to lead and support the social work team   
  • Experts in social care policy: Including those working on social care in think tanks . 
Our groups met multiple times over a six month period to develop and stress test their ideas

The Change Group were responsible for developing, vetting and agreeing the final set of policy ideas. We went through a ‘co-design’ process with them, which means that we brought together people with different knowledge and experience to look at the problem and solutions collaboratively, coming up with ideas that would work for all them.  

In addition to this we also held three Social Care Ideas Groups, bringing together people with shared experiences;

  • Group 1: Recipients of care  
  • Group 2: Care workers 
  • Group 3: Care providers. 

 These groups met twice to explore their experiences in more depth, and feed their ideas and reflections on the developing policy package through to the Change Group. To ensure that these views were fed through, members from the Change Group also sat in the Ideas Groups.  

Structure of the co-design programme

The Change Group met eight times across a 6-month period. On each occasion they participated in a half-day workshop aimed at better understanding the challenge and developing policy ideas. These workshops were designed and facilitated by our delivery partners TPX Impact

Establishing the process and setting a vision | Workshops 1A and 1B

  • Develop their relationships as a group and understand their role in the process 
  • Build a shared foundational knowledge of social care 
  • Begun developing a shared vision for social care 
  • Identified key questions and missing perspectives. 

Developing initial ideas and identifying areas for further exploration | Workshops 2A and 2B

  • Discuss and capture initial ideas from the Change Group 
  • Learn about how things work in Wales, Scotland and internationally 
  • Identify initial ideas of interest to the group, where further information or exploration is necessary. 

Identifying ideas with most potential and prioritising | Workshops 3A and 3B

  • Hear from external experts on ideas which were identified for further exploration 
  • Set ideas against a prioritisation matrix – scoring against different criteria (e.g. innovation, practical, impact etc.) 
  • Developing further ideas for that have been identified as prioritised.   

Review feedback and refine ideas | Workshops 4A and 4B

  • Review feedback gathered from digital scale exercise and refine ideas in line with comment 
  • Resolve any remaining tensions 
  • Finalise and agree ideas for change. 

In between these core design sessions we also ran a number of other workstreams to support the co-design group with their idea development and decision making. This included: 

  • Running a digital consultation where we invited members of the public and those who worked in care to comment on the draft ideas 
  • Testing draft ideas with the People’s Panel – the group who defined the challenge to be tackled – to identify whether draft ideas were meeting the challenge 
  • Developed briefings to support the Change Group members with outstanding questions.