1. Lived experience
Firstly, an important initiative by Scottish Government, highlighted in HWL December bulletin is the focus on co-design to inform future service needs.
The National Care Service recently invited applications for a Lived Experience Experts Panel, to understand the changes that are needed and checking that changes are possible and practical. This is what co-design means – working alongside the people who use and deliver health and social care services to ensure everyone get a future organisation that works for all.
“The complexities of getting this right should not be underestimated. People with experience of the current system, whether in receipt of health and care support or delivering it, are the experts. We particularly need to hear those voices.” Kevin Stewart, Scotland's minister for social care.
2. Future trends
Secondly, the recent Resolution Foundation Who Cares and Reimagining Care Commission reports both highlight care workforce needs and issues where a co-design ethos will be a critical factor in driving meaningful change that is embedded in the culture of care homes.
Jobs in social care have many positive aspects of working in the sector, including the ability to form deep personal connections with clients, job security, and greater levels of flexibility and autonomy than are possible in many low-paid jobs. But there are many challenges too. Pay is low – and likely unlawfully low for many workers in the domiciliary sector once their travel time is accounted for.
This, along with funding constraints and the particular demands of the Covid period, have contributed to a staffing crisis which is having serious negative knock-on effects on workload and safety.