Insights through Experience – Yours and Theirs

The move away from yesterdays aged care services to a stronger consumer focus is not a social experiment; it is a logical and significant step in an ever-changing vision of what ageing could look like in our community.

Around 20 years ago, the Department of Health in England published a plan for investment and reform. This document was one of the early signals that health and social care should be shaped around the needs of the individual, not the other way around. Much has happened since then – policy, demographics, funding, legislation, expectations on both sides of the equator. Locally we are learning to deal with significant disruption and as new ground is traversed, looking for examples of what is working and what to avoid.

Having been on a Person-Centred journey for many years now, who better to ask about their Workforce reflections and hindsight than a group of successful UK-based Social Care CEO’s.

Three critical learnings

Interviewing 7 leaders from within the sector, it is clear there are three overarching themes – identified independently by all CEO’s, critical in surviving within a consumer directed market.

  1. A person-centred approach – the same philosophy for clients and staff. Care staff are the life blood of the organisation and to change the way we relate to clients we have to change the way we relate to staff. Find the staff that suit your needs, develop, empower and engage with them. Build in additional touch points. Where possible avoid the Care sector staff recycling that sees bad habits perpetuated. Client journey is increasingly understood and managed in progressive organisations. Employee journey which can start even before the person is a candidate is less understood or managed. Stand back, listen, interpret, check, implement – a strategy that works with both clients and staff. If an organisation promotes itself as values driven, it needs to display those values on all fronts.
  2. Self-Reliance. In a sense the same philosophy of Independence that CDC seeks to fosters in your clients needs to be elevated to an organisational level. The government will never give you what you believe is needed so you can’t wait – the market will pass you by. Differentiation as a service provider and an employer is critical as you are competing in both markets. Build strategies to address issues you can manage and seek to influence those issues you cannot manage.
  3. Community and Local Decisions. With the client at the centre of decisions, empowered (and supported) staff is a critical factor. Addressing issues and engaging as close as possible to the frontline is a key differentiator and delivers much improved client interaction and efficiency. Overt engagement with the local community drives significant benefits both immediate (education and myth busting, support, volunteers) and longer term (clients). The benefits of intergenerational strategies and community engagement are still unfolding but seen a highly valuable.

These reflections on a CDC environment videos and blog posts were created in a partnership between Altura LearningCare Advantage Behavioural Screening and Neil Eastwood’s Recruitment Masterclass. The input from the 7 UK business leaders has been invaluable and the time and effort they have put in much appreciated.

REFLECTIONS ON A CONSUMER DIRECTED CARE (CDC) WORKFORCE SERIES

Altura Learning have partnered with Care Advantage and Neil Eastwood, to produce an inspirational discussion panel with 7 successful CEOs from the UK Social Care Sector to talk about the workforce challenges, strategies and hindsight after many years in a person-centered environment.