What works in Community Led Support?
First evaluation report. Findings and lessons from local approaches and solutions for transforming adult social care (and health) services in England, Wales and Scotland.
This report has been written to share the findings, learning and examples of impact identified from working with 9 authorities across England, Wales and Scotland who are working differently to improve the lives and support of local people.
It is essentially an evaluation report on the authorities’ progress towards the outcomes and longer-term aims of community led support over the last 18 months, but we believe it is more than that.
We hope the learning shared here will help demonstrate what’s possible when applying core principles associated with asset based approaches at the same time as tackling hard systemic and cultural issues around speed of response, ease of access, changing the nature of ‘assessment’, reducing waiting times and lists, turning eligibility criteria on their heads and making the best use of local resources for people with a wide range of support needs.
“After seven grim years of austerity in our public services, reasons to be cheerful are in short supply. But here’s one: the remarkable emerging results of Community Led Support, an approach to finding ways of meeting people’s needs for care and support that leaves them typically happier, healthier and more independent than they would be if directed straight to conventional services. And not to beat around the bush, it also tends to work out cheaper. If that’s not reason enough to read on, then note that there's learning here from England, Scotland and Wales. At a time when policy and practice around the UK are increasingly divergent, that’s very welcome.”
David Brindle, Chair of NDTi and Public Services Editor of the Guardian
“This report sets out how a number of localities are taking brave steps to change the way they work. Community Led Support is not original but has its roots in effective community approaches from many years ago. Public service bodies still need to rebuild the trust of communities and promote confidence in the public sector. It is vitally important that they do this and empower neighbourhoods to develop social capital as we know that the highest social care needs will remain in those neighbourhoods with the least social capital. We still need further knowledge building and skills development in this area, but this evaluation has done a useful job in following these developments in those localities that are working differently and it is a valuable step in the right direction.”
Dorothy Runnicles, Expert by Experience, Ex-Social Worker, Researcher of social services and Associate of NDTi
“Evidence in Social Care is often hard to measure and providing conclusive arguments for particular approaches or interventions is difficult. Therefore, this is a welcome first step showing a coherent set of evidence from across the nine initial Community Led Support sites. This report gives a real sense of the success of the Community Led Support programme and demonstrates what it is that is convincing others to join. It has helped those Local Authorities and Health and Social Care Partnerships involved make real the rhetoric around person centred care based on true collaboration, not just with individuals but with whole communities. Importantly it shares the voices of people who live in communities and have called for help and support, as well as the voices of those whose job it is to listen, have a good conversation and respond.”
Des McCart, Senior Programme Manager, Healthcare Improvement Scotland