I’m going to start by apologising for what will not be my most reflective, coherent or considered blog post ever!
I’ve just had the privilege of spending 24 hours in the company of Directors of Adult Social Care and representatives from some of their management teams. This was at @ripfa‘s Directors Policy Forum – will blog about it over at the ripfa blog as soon as my mind has recovered to enable me to be offer a considered reflection.
For now though I’m just sat back in my office considering and reflecting on the massive challenges ahead for anyone receiving support from adult social care, and the staff that are involved in providing that support. At the same time @enabledby are having an event at The Design Museum looking to reframe the disability and ageing agenda by focusing on design for all; you can follow the discussion over on the #WeEdD hashtag.
I’ve just dropped into the discussion and am drawn (*disclaimer* from afar, without context so apologies if I’m missing the point) by the focus on design and systems and the need to pass control to the service user to design a system that works for them. Sounds like there are workshops from @thinkpublic and @sidekickstudios and a great focus on service design. I was delighted to see on the event blog that Adil from Sidekick had made a point about the need to negotiate between what’s right for the user and what the system can embed.
I’d take it further and ask what the system should embed or support?
It is apparent from the conversations we’ve been having over the past two days that there is a really bumpy ride ahead; there are massive cuts looming (and started) for Adult Social Care. To that end I’m wondering whether we should be focusing on moving the public sector reform discussion into a broader debate with the public.
We’re all likely to require some support for an adult social care need at some stage of our lives – whether due to illness, disability or just through getting older. The reality is that the services are having to change, the support will no longer be available in the current form and therefore we all need to decide what we expect to support our friends, families and communities with, and what we expect the system or service to provide.
I’m not yet convinced whether service design has the answers. I’m bloody certain existing services, staff and service users don’t all have the answers! Controversial maybe but I think we need to think differently. We need to start with an even more basic discussion, not about service improvement, but about values and requirements. We need to figure out exactly *what* support people need and then have a grown up and adult conversation about whose responsibility it is to provide that support.
Having heard Charlie Leadbetter speak last week I know that there is much more food for thought coming so I’m going to go rest my brain but if anyone is interested in continuing this discussion please do get in touch. Thanks to everyone who is there for sharing the discussion with those of us who couldn’t make it.