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‘By the end we had about 120 ideas. There was so much coming out, it was just incredible’

Our Health and Care Director, Miriam Levin, shares her reflections on the latest Ideas for Change sessions

The Social Care Change group has been set this massive challenge: how to fix social care staffing. Until now, the sessions have been setting the scene. These two workshops were the first time people started sharing practical suggestions.

By the end we had about 120 ideas. There was so much coming out, it was just incredible.

To put a bit of shape around things, the group discussed five areas:

  • Feeling valued and staff morale
  • Pay
  • Training and development
  • Work culture
  • Quality of care

They went through each of the subjects in turn and drew out ideas. It was a really interesting dynamic because we had care workers, care providers, people who draw on care and social workers all in break-out rooms discussing these issues. But bringing their different perspectives to the table.

We took everyone through what came out of our earlier Ideas groups, our online survey and the People’s Panel, to try and map across ideas from different sources and look at where they overlapped.

For the second session we brought in Dan Bristow from the Welsh Centre for Public Policy. He talked to the group about the Welsh context. Because it’s very different compared to England or Scotland. And we’ve got somebody coming in to talk about the Scottish context next time.

There was also a talk from Nina Hemmings. She works for The Nuffield Trust but is also a member of the Change group. She’s done a lot of work looking at how social care works in different countries across the globe.

It’s useful to hear how other places do things. And learn about the different models that exist. You can easily fall into the trap of focussing on what you already know. So it was great to learn what the likes of Germany and the Netherlands are up to. It’ll really help inform the group’s future discussions.

The next pair of sessions are at the end of June. That’s when the group will focus on the ideas they feel have real traction. They’ll figure out which ones can make the most difference to people. And round up with a set of draft ideas everyone feels are pretty solid.

We’ll then be sending those ideas back out into the wider world, to see what people make of them. What’s good? What needs to be tightened up? What’s been forgotten? So the ideas become even stronger and better.