Change that leads to better lives

Reimagining Day Time Supports

In our work with people who commission, provide, fund and use day time services it is clear that they face common and growing core pressures.

Reimaginining day time support new

These pressures include changing expectations of people who use services (usually aspirational, sometimes generational, sometimes short breaks focused); a real desire to give people more choice and control over the services and support they receive; a policy focus on working more closely with communities, providing support to people who have and pool individual budgets; and, of course, funding pressures.

Exploring these pressures in more detail highlights a number of fundamental issues and opportunities:

  • Using real coproduction in both the planning and the delivery of services to ensure they are flexing to meet fluid demands and are ready for the future.
  • Using all the opportunities available in a wide range of different geographical, employment and social communities and seeing themselves as facilitators of opportunity for all local people rather than simply providers of a set of services to particular groups.
  • Using reduced budgets to offer the same or more services, by being more flexible and creative about working with individuals to achieve their aspirations.
  • The impact of personal budgets / self-directed supports on the choices people can make.
  • Buildings, transport and community accessibility: seeing day opportunities as an integral part of the local community's resources.
  • Developing the local market, from which people can source a wide range of support and services.
  • Understanding best practice in the commissioning and development of services (for example employment supports) that actually deliver real jobs.

Whilst the detail for each ‘client’ group and for each kind of organisation (voluntary, charitable, statutory) may be different, these pressures and opportunities are common. The answers will be too. Working together with colleagues, people using services, and communities from the whole sector locally will help ensure the future day time support offered is seamless and robust enough to last.

We know that there are good people providing and commissioning day time supports, and that there are useful working practice and tools. However, too many of these people are working in isolation and so don’t have the time for creative thinking, idea sharing and development opportunities. Some face opposition; others, a competitive environment.

To address these issues and opportunities we are inviting a small number of locally-based teams to take part in a new programme with the challenge of reimagining day time supports for the future.

The programme draws together the themes of challenge, opportunity and creativity to work together to identify, explore, test and implement solutions to all the issues listed above.

In the first programme we have four partner local authorities and health and social care partnerships. Each locality has, at its core, a team of eight change leaders, including people with responsibility for providing, commissioning and using services. The teams are drawn from across the main ‘users’ of day opportunities – people with learning disabilities, people with mental health problems, people with physical disabilities or sensory impairments, and older people – and bring a commitment to work collectively. Together, these teams are working to create a new model for day time support which includes all they currently do well, links with the wider community locally and moves forward to embrace opportunities for growth.

The programme includes:

  • Participation for the eight-person team in one three-day and one two-day residential events that will focus on:
    • Defining, discussing and addressing the core issues;
    • Developing local action plans;
    • Developing new models of support;
    • Exploring best practice;
    • Exploring emerging practice;
    • Building cross-locality alliances.
  • Onsite diagnostic days at the start of the programme to identify local challenges and opportunities and to contribute to setting the agendas for future local and shared activity.
  • Onsite specialist support in each locality.
  • Participation in at least three task and finish groups that focus on particular challenges. These are being defined by participants but we anticipate that they will include:
    • Employment;
    • Pooling individual budgets;
    • Developing community organisations.
  • Locality and cross-site access to specialist research and evaluation support to:
    • Identify and monitor local priorities;
    • Identify new and emerging best practice;
    • Evaluate and share the outcomes of the wider programme.

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