NDTi Associate, Lou Close reflects on a recent event hosted by HealthCare Improvement Scotland to share our evaluation results following 1 year of the Community Led Support Programme in Scotland.
Well, technically it's nine months since we last gathered friends, colleagues and interested parties together to tell them about the work we are doing in Scotland, bringing the CLS programme into Health and Social Care Partnerships (HSCPs) and using it to help them leverage their change programmes around continuous improvement, to deliver ever more person centred care and support in partnership with people, their families and communities, and to practically implement the spirit as well as the letter of the SDS and Public Bodies Acts.
Back in March when we met, East Renfrewshire and South Ayrshire were just getting started with implementing some "new front doors", embedding good conversations as the start and the heart of all they do and thinking about implications of changing the first point of contact with the rest of the "customer pathway". Scottish Borders were deep into their initial phase of co-producing ideas for what CLS would look like across the area, dovetailing their plans in with other workstreams and development priorities to create a cohesive direction of travel.
There was lots to share and learn back then, but now things have moved on immensely in all the sites and there was so much more to hear about, including how front line social workers feel liberated by the CLS approach, how waiting lists are tumbling, how partnerships with local community groups are strengthening, and most importantly, how local people are receiving a far prompter and more effective response when they get in touch with the HSCP for help, advice or assistance.
We heard about the success of East Renfrewshire's "Talking Points" popping up in all sorts of venues in order to meet people where they already gather and spend time, how "South Ayrshire Connects" is building on its early shoots of success in strong partnership with the third sector, and how in one very rural community in the Borders virtually everyone in the village has been along to their local "What Matters Borders" Hub and left armed with new information and connections, as well as, in the words of one resident, the "peace of mind of knowing I can now live out my days here with help at hand".
We also heard from Fife, who have just joined the CLS programme, about what made them choose to do so, and from NDTi's evaluation team with headline learning from their work looking at what difference CLS has made in nine sites across the UK over the past year. With continuing support from HIS, who kindly hosted our event this week, we look forward to working with the Scottish partnerships into 2018 and beyond and together, bringing meaningful choice and control to people and communities across Scotland.
All of the presentations from the day can be found on the right hand side of this article.
Louise Close is the at the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi)
NDTi is an organisation that promotes equal and inclusive lives for people in their communities, particularly where ageing or disability are issues
Louise Close's blog is a personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views of the NDTi.