Skip to navigation Skip to main content

Valuing Independence

Boosting independence for 100,000 people by eradicating unnecessary demand in social care.

The challenge

There is a commonly-held illusion that the social care system can be controlled and that it can best be improved by taking a linear approach to each element of the system, thereby driving out efficiencies. While over the past decade, in the face of growing demand and smaller budgets, many councils have made significant savings, this is not sustainable and doesn’t always deliver better outcomes.

At IMPOWER, we believe adult social care should be reframed around creating value citizens’ lives, and in particular maximising their independence. In practice, this means taking every opportunity at every point in the system to promote independence and positive outcomes. It also means ruthlessly seeking out opportunities where any action, intervention or lack of intervention does not maximise value in people’s lives. We call this eradicating unnecessary demand.

In every social care system we have examined, local practitioners have analysed that in at least 20% of cases, we do not maximise value and independence. The closer we can get this figure to zero, the better.

Our solution

Giving up current models of control, even if they are illusory, is scary. It should only be done if there is a better alternative. We call the alternative building a Target Demand System. This combines building a new detailed analytical view of demand so trajectories can be understood and reacted to in real time. It also means focusing in on specific behaviours and decisions right across the system, which requires behavioural science and new performance management systems. This adds up to both an overall culture change, and a new operating model.

Through this approach we have already helped improve thousands of lives and save over £30 million across 10 councils. Building on this track record, we want to reach a further 100,000 people.

Our approach

Since 2013, we have worked on demand-led change projects with more than 20 Departments of Adult Social Services. We have learned that:

  • Benefits realisation and their trajectories must be set up as early as possible so that there is a robust and shared understanding of the benefits of the new systems, and of how operational practice and systematic approaches drive results.
  • Working closely with council staff to understand the current system and then co-designing a new operating model together is key to getting that new model right. It is essential that the team feel genuine ownership so that they can fully and authentically transition to new ways of working.
  • An iterative approach produces a culture of continuous improvement, helps to embed the change, and allows specific interventions, cohorts or teams to be focused on.
  • To ensure that maximising independence can become the central focus for adult social care and that savings are achieved, it is essential that human behaviour change and culture change are given the same priority as process and structure change.

Work with us

Relationships start with a conversation. Here’s how to get in touch.

Ealing’s ASC placement spend down 5% – how did they do it?

The second instalment of our EDGEWORK Series – launched today – is a guide to Primed Performance Management (PPM), and includes a case study detailing how the use of PPM in our work with Ealing Council helped them to reduce costs and improve outcomes.

April 11, 2019

EDGEWORK Series: Primed Performance Management

Develop staff skills, confidence and behaviours to exploit fully the power of performance data

April 11, 2019

Guest blogpost: ‘Trust is the basis from which people make the leap of faith from the old to the new’

This is a guest blogpost written by Rob Mitchell, Adult Principle Social Worker, Bradford Council. Like many local authorities, Bradford is going through a period of change. We are listening more carefully to people who invite social care into their lives, and focusing more on enabling them to live life how they choose to live it. I reflect on the challenges involved.

April 9, 2019

Why I was nervous about ‘Which councils are best at adult social care?’

Our top ten councils for adult social care analysis was the cover story of the MJ five weeks ago, and despite being somewhat nervous beforehand, I've been really pleased with the response.

April 2, 2019

3 Key lessons about relationships in social work

Social workers play a vital role in achieving better outcomes for individuals and on World Social Work Day we have an extra reason to celebrate social work. I have been working with social workers in one local authority and have taken away some key lessons about relationships in social work.

March 19, 2019

A plea to councils: put behaviour change at the heart of transformation

I joined the LGA’s ‘Behaviour Change’ conference this week. I was there to share our impact in Ealing through the Better Lives programme, and in particular how applied behavioural science has led to a massive 39% reduction in referrals from the front door to adult social care teams.

March 14, 2019

“Could we just turn this all on its head?”

IMPOWER recently held its fourth Shared Learning Event for adult social care professionals. We've summarised their experiences of managing demand at the adult social care front door.

March 6, 2019

Which councils are best at social care?

IMPOWER's latest Top 10 productivity list has been featured as the cover story in today's MJ

February 28, 2019

Tick tock, tick tock…… the Younger Adults financial time bomb

Many councils have focused attention on the Older People cohort to help address their financial challenges. Councils are now realising that they cannot continue to sidestep the financial pressure coming from the Younger Adults cohort.

February 28, 2019

IMPOWER INSIGHT newsletter

Sign up for the latest thinking on delivering sustainable change and better public services

No spam; unsubscribe easily at any time. Learn more in our Privacy Policy.

Close
Close