Age UK said that 2017 would be the year the care system in the UK collapses. That might be an overly broad statement – but certainly this year has already seen a visibly intense deepening of the crisis.
Perhaps the most visible of those is the withdrawal of major care providers from the market – with an additional 30,000 older people now facing uncertainty over care plans.
The rhetoric that suggests we are no closer to a solution isn’t true – STPs, after an admittedly difficult start, do represent the place-based, locally-led approach to new models of care that both the NHS and authorities have long called for. And plenty of councils are seeing improvements in patient-based care through their participation in these.
But the problem is still growing faster than the solutions being found – the NHS must now deliver a further £22bn of savings, £15bn of which must be delivered locally through STPs.
For the past two years, iESE has begun to re-invest its profits (our USP as a social enterprise is that we invest profits into research to support transformation) into researching integrated social care solutions.
Over the coming months we will start to release new and improved tools, specifically aimed at supporting integrated care solutions. Among these will be a new care calculator for authorities, as well as assessment frameworks and best practice platforms.
We will also be running dedicated events for social care directors, and setting up new digital platforms to showcase best practice.
We are, naturally, keen to expand our knowledge base as widely as possible – so, as the only transformation partner owned by local authorities, this column is a plea to get in touch – and help us understand your practices and solutions, as well as being able to get involved in the ones we’re developing.
You can find out more about the new support packages on our website (iese.org.uk). It feels right to remind readers again here that we aren’t a consultancy – we are a shared resource, funded by councils, with the business objective of supporting the sector. So the more people we can get on board, the more the whole sector will benefit from sharing best practice.
Web: iese.org.uk Twitter: @ieseltd