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IMPOWER @ ADASS Spring Seminar: what we exposed


Having returned from this week’s ADASS Spring Seminar I was delighted to see that the insights we revealed in our workshop – based on primary research into what is driving poorer outcomes at the interface between health and care – were provoking significant debate and had made the front page of The MJ.

This workshop will cut to the chase: what really drives the decisions that result in poorer outcomes at the interfaces between health and care? Explosive new testimony from more than 200 health and care professionals will be revealed. We will examine longitudinal evidence on how trust between social care, GPs, hospital and community health staff has improved (…or not…) over the last five years. We will also explore more than 25 specific behavioural and environmental factors to shed light on why certain types of decisions are being made. The session will provide tangible insight and specific findings that you can take to partners in order to improve outcomes.

Our objective was simple – to better understand the impact that culture and behaviours are having on driving poorer outcomes for patients. We surveyed more than 200 health and care professionals, and the evidence obtained is stark:

  • Inappropriate admission to hospital most frequently happens because of the sheer volume of activity and pressure in the Emergency Department. This means that if there are any doubts about the case, the professional will admit the patient.
  • Delayed discharge from hospital most frequently happens because acute staff and community staff have a different and conflicting view of what is possible in the community.
  • Sub optimal discharge from hospital most frequently happens because getting people out of an acute bed takes priority across the system, and can have a negative impact on discharging patients into the optimal pathway.
  • Relationships: Adult Social Care staff rated the strength of their relationship with hospital staff the strongest, whilst hospital staff rated their relationship with Adult Social Care staff the weakest.
  • Trust: Adult Social Care have a high level of trust in hospital staff, whilst only 56% of hospital staff trust Adult Social Care to make decisions in the best interest of their patients.

At IMPOWER we believe there is a real opportunity to continue this debate and to take it further. Uncovering evidence and insight at a local level would help reframe the conversation between health and social care, and enable a greater focus on addressing cultural and behavioural issues in order to improve outcomes and reduce overall costs.

In the coming weeks we will be publishing our findings in full, and are initially looking to work at a local level with a range of councils and health partners to develop this insight further. If this is something you would like to be involved in, please get in touch.

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IMPOWER is an organisation driven by a social purpose. We are a values led consultancy dedicated to the reform of the public sector.



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