Creating a community for change in health and social care

By Julie Stansfield, Partnership Lead and Chief Executive of In Control

I’m proud to have been involved in the iterations that has led to the “Collaborative Leadership Academy” which delivers the Leadership for Personalised Care programme. My main reason for this is the passion to develop leaders that focus on what really matters….People!

Whilst everyone wants personalised care to work and be real….it’s now enshrined in law and guidance…getting from the words to real practice is not so easy.

Too often we are tempted to go the easy route of creating multiple toolkits, processes and pathways to instruct people…but whilst that might get them doing “things right” it doesn’t necessary mean they are then doing the “right thing” and creating real change.

What we need to do is to get people to both understand and then do the right thing -- so for that reason my focus and that of In Control has been on study and research on how to make change happen through change management and change through innovation.

But this shouldn’t be merely an academic exercise. It must be evidenced and work in practice.

We host and support movements, like Partners in Policy Making, Social Care Future, Leadership for Personalised Care (L4PC) and the Collaborative Leadership Academy to further that agenda.

For example, L4PC takes people from instruction to understanding and from employee to leader. Too often the key aspects of leadership and culture are missed, yet they are crucial in enabling real change and innovation.

So we have to take people down the rabbit hole to wonderland to question what is really possible and who they are and what power they have to deliver it.

The value of the L4PC approach has been evidenced from an impact evaluation from the Institute of Employment Studies (IES) and it makes impressive reading.

95% of participants were more open to new ideas and change after learning with us.

We don’t pretend there are not still issues and barriers such as time resource and working in silos, but 98% say they now encourage people to work collaboratively.

The IES evaluation also found that participants were more inclined to actively connect and network with people and seek opportunities for co-production.

If we want to meet the vision laid out by Social Care Future, where everyone can live a “gloriously ordinary life”, we do need to concentrate on people, relationships and connections, so this was pleasing to see and must be built on.

We need to keep investing in leaders because we want our workforce to have initiative and think on their own feet with confidence, so we have to invest and keep investing in programmes that lead to, what we now know, are great outcomes.

My concern is that our workforce is both devalued and underpaid and it’s a real challenge. When I first started in a local authority as a community support worker, I was on a good living wage and valued, but that’s not the case now for many front-line workers.

Really valuing and bringing the workforce up to where it must be a priority because if we don’t, we won’t have the leaders of the future.

Julie Stansfield

Julie Stansfield