Towards the end of last year, Tim Baverstock, Deputy Director for Adult Social Care at Somerset County Council, blogged about getting two ‘pop up’ care homes up and running.
You can read Tim’s blog post here.
I found his article to be an interesting insight into a local authority who are seemingly beginning to understand the importance of social care.
Tasked with setting up two pop-up care homes, initially they didn’t see the point with over 400 bed vacancies in the county. Nevertheless, within a few months, they had two completely renovated former care homes which were fully staffed and, with the support of a local provider who took on the registration for the local authority, were CQC registered.
What is apparent throughout the article and accepted by the writer is the sometimes lack of integrated care, despite the much-used terminology. Indeed, at the end of the article, the lessons learned are listed as follows:
“During this time, I have been reminded of a few key ingredients for successful collaboration and these are identifying key joint drivers, a bespoke approach to training, joint decision making and of course constructive challenge. This work reaffirmed my view that when we treat people as individuals and put their needs first, effective systems of support can follow. Integration is a much-used phrase but form or structure is not so important, it is the outcomes that really matter.
“It is looking likely in Somerset we will be using a hybrid health model for our designated place (community hospital or similar) as we have a better handle this time around on capacity and ability to deliver services with the correct medical cover and follow-on market provider support.
“Although we were ultimately successful in our objectives, what seemed clear to me throughout the process was a lack of understanding about the challenges of running care homes still persists in the wider health and care sector”.
I read Tim’s blog post with interest and was really pleased to see the final comment. As those within the care sector know only too well, sometimes the lack of understanding from commissioners as to what is involved in running a care home is very frustrating.
I was also pleased to read the comment that it is the outcomes that matter. Those of you that know me, hear me regularly say that care should always come first, and the rest will follow.