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The Care Act: Looking to the future of social care

Neil Matthewman, Chief Executive of Community Integrated Care, showcased our response to the Care Act at the recent Westminster Social Policy Forum Event, ‘The future for social care in England – funding, integration and policy’.

Neil MatthewmanThe event also featured contributions of a high profile panel of speakers, including: Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at CQC; Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker for Adults at the Department of Health; and Rt Hon Paul Burstow MP, former Minister of State for Care Services.

Neil described to the packed audience how Community Integrated Care has developed its strategic plans for the future – our Big Change project, around the aims of the Care Act. He told the audience, “We’re on a journey to improve, looking at how we can best respond to the key drivers and imperatives of the Care Act.  The aims of the Act, around supporting wellbeing and developing preventative services, and also putting people in control, are key to what we’re trying to achieve.”

His presentation showcased how this response has required us to challenge traditional approaches – ensuring that our services properly meets the needs of our commissioning partners and the people we support. This effort has included initiatives such as training and employing people we support to act as Peer Reviewers, who independently assess the standards we deliver and challenge when they find room for improvement, as well as commissioning market reviews to ensure we are fully meeting the needs of our local authority partners.

He also discussed his belief that positive change will only be possible if the people who deliver it, our colleagues, are respected and developed too – emphasising his commitment to “giving people careers, rather than just jobs.”

Neil highlighted how the Care Act will influence commissioning, with services now, more than ever, being commissioned on the outcomes they achieve – such as prevention, enablement, independence and inclusion. For Community Integrated Care, he said, “This means ensuring personalisation runs through our entire organisation, partnering with others, being innovative, and developing our internal processes to report on outcomes, rather than just inputs.”

Above all, Neil emphasised to the audience the opportunities created by the Care Act, sharing his belief that it is an opportunity to “think about the art of the possible” for a better social care sector.

This is event was the latest in a series of high-profile events where Neil, who has formerly also held senior roles at NHS service provider and commissioning organisations, has shared his expertise on the Care Act and the future of social care.

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