Demand more by demanding different

By Nick Parker | 11 December 2023

There is a demand for people who can provide social care, demand for quicker discharges from hospital, demand that better use is made of housing, technology, data – the list of demands goes on and on.

It’s a highly complex, multi-organisational, diverse service, that could touch the lives of any of us – but it’s currently characterised by highest ever vacancy rates, high and increasing attrition, low pay, low morale and more councils in danger of failure of statutory obligations.

Changing this picture is not the work of a few months, or the deployment of a killer app, piece of kit, selection of spreadsheets or a new target operating model – it will take legislation, reform, new thinking, funding, a cross party consensus. But there are pragmatic measures that can be put in place to stabilise and then to incrementally improve – not just keep things going. There remain opportunities for local authorities to work with partners to make better use of their assets and the resources, to create financial headroom and budget opportunities that can be invested into the mechanisms that support the administration of care, and thus deliver better outcomes and better intelligence-led commissioning.

There is hope in the system – it may appear broken, but the people working within it are its strength – and there are solutions out there that can help them to meet the challenges they face every day. Support for councils to understand the full financial pressures they face, to help them understand all of their local populations care needs, to maximise client contributions. Solutions centred around data led initiatives that will tackle demand issues, increase the effectiveness of the supply chain and simultaneously look for opportunities to redress the shortfall in available budgets.

Instinct and necessity means keeping heads down and running faster is the right thing to do but that is no longer sustainable. It’s time for the sector to demand more from the eco-system of partners and explore innovative solutions that show the journey to a better future can start now.

•Level Measures can be downloaded at www.localis.org.uk/research/level-measures-modern-agenda-public-service-integration/

Nick Parker is Growth Director, Adult Social Care – Capita

This article is sponsored content for The MJ

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