Making it happen in Medway

On 6 October, I received an unexpected call from a colleague.  They had an opportunity for me, “did I want to work for a company that really listens to what people need?” Of course I did! During October to December, I spent time getting to know a little more about The Three Conversations®, helped to design and create some tools to support the work, and met the team for a karaoke session and a few Christmas drinks in London. On the 4 January, I started my first change partnership with Medway Council in Chatham. What a welcoming team! Sam Newman…

Why we need a revolution in social care

In these hope-sapping days of austerity in social care and health there are some who say that the system is starved of money and just needs some more to be ok, lots more, and that the system contains the ‘experts’ who are needed to use a variety of assessment and expert led techniques to decide who gets what from the dwindling pots of health and social care resources and services. What I am interested in is whether we can live up to a much more optimistic viewpoint and prove that if we engage people much more fully in their own…

Reading Council’s experience of implementing The Three Conversations®

Reading Council began thinking about a new approach to adult social care in the summer of 2015 – and were ready to start with two innovation sites in the autumn – based on people who had heard about the new ideas and wanted to try them out. One site was in Reading’s ‘front door’ function and all its work was ‘new’ contacts. The other was focused on one post code area and accepted all contacts – both ‘new’ and from people with existing support. Reading followed Partners4Change approach to the letter, knew they were ‘learning as they went’, collected data…

Keyworking – does it increase dependency and ‘ownership’?

East Cambs Learning Disability team have been using The Three Conversations® to rethink completely how they do their work. Instead of intake assessments, referrals, allocations and waiting lists they are learning how to have appropriate conversations with people and families, focussed on helping them to get on with their lives in their families and communities. Charlotte Kirin, the East Cambs team manager, talks about how they are taking a different approach to how they work, which except for Conversation 2, challenges the notion that key working is a good thing. She said: “East Cambs Learning Disability Partnership have been working…

There is nothing special about learning disability

As an ex-head of a large joint health and social care learning disability partnership, with a budget of more than £50 million and a workforce of over 1,000, I used to take my life in my hands when I stood up and said: ‘There is nothing special about learning disability’. Who would get to me first? My own staff? The families who I knew had been let down time after time by the system that I represented? The consultant psychiatrist? Let’s be really clear. Families of people with learning disabilities have my utmost respect. The most hardworking committed, loving and…

Stop having meetings and meet

Ever been in a meeting where you feel like – well, like ending it all? A meeting so dull, ineffective and frustrating that you just want to bite down hard on the cyanide capsule they installed under your back left molar on your first day? I have.  Repeatedly. It doesn’t have to be this way. Partners4Change believes in ending bad meetings. For good. And to save our souls from torment. So, how can this be done? With some straightforward golden rules born in the fires of a thousand bad meetings, that’s how. In this blog, I’ll talk about 3 rules…

Financial austerity in social care – we have to change the conversation

When the Chancellor recently announced he had signed up four government departments for 30% cuts as part of the next spending round, I was convinced local government would not be one of them. It was. So, what do we do now? Councils are on their knees, their eyes understandably more firmly fixed on dwindling budgets, not on how to deliver dynamic social care responses to people and families in their communities. These people need some kind of support to get on with their lives. And they need it now. The King’s Fund tells us that social care spending is at…