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NCAS Conference Rolling Blog (15/10)


Good morning Bournemouth

Day 2 of the National Children and Adult Services Conference (#NCASc15). IMPOWER will also be tweeting too at @IMPOWERCONSULT

8:40am Telecare and service design are the key topics accompanying breakfast this morning.

9:20am A new report from ourselves and the LGA is being launched today – download your copy here. It’s an exploration into the impact of inspection on children’s services and what that is telling us about where sector led improvement needs to move to.

9:45am Olly Swann shares “Interesting case study from Bournemouth, Dorset & Poole about the first cross boundary LATC for adult social care in the UK. Still in its infancy, but this is great example of both a alternative delivery model and a commitment to deliver both efficiency for all partners round the table and improved outcomes for service users. Smart stuff.”

10:00am We’ll be tweeting some select data highlights from our report released today ‘A Brave New World’ follow us @impowerconsult for updates.

10:15am Henri Curzon shares “Just been to a very positive and enthused session about community asset based social work in Shropshire. Social workers and users are motivated by the aspirational operating model. Once again and unsurprisingly culture change was key to getting this right.”

11:25am Some words of wisdom coming out of the conference from the Kings Fund on devolution and health care:

  • devolution plans won’t remove years of difference between local & national ways of working
  • The needs of citizens and local population has to be the starting point. Devolution might not be necessary/enough to achieve it
  • Beware of being devolved the problem without the means to solve it

11:30am Olly Swann shares “The message is to ‘Keep devo local’. This is welcome commentary in relation to the devolution of health & care and the opportunities for integration. Whilst respect was paid to the larger city deals, the focus for example with Hampshire CCGs is to make it real for patients & service users, and build on the success of local initiatives.”

11:45am Jeremy Cooper shares “Excellent and very honest assessment of the opportunity of health devolution from Richard Samuel, a leading CCG Chief Officer. He summarised the change required well: despite what the CQC says we are one of the best illness services in the world. The problem is we need to shoot from break fix to population health.

He was very generous in what devo, and working with councils in particular, can offer, including;

1) Talking to local people. You do it well, we don’t. I need to have candid conversation a with local people and you can help me. Because of the perversities of financial incentives and public expectations we spend much too much in hospital care.

2) We are dreadful at asset management, you are much better at it

3) We are tied to an annual cycle that drives insular thinking.

His sensible ask included:

1) Patience. Particularly as there are so many NHS organisations to align.

2) Trust. Devolution will help to exacerbate the fault lines if you don’t have trust to start with. BCF has set back relationships a decade in some areas.

3) Help in starting small. Start with achievable deliverable local change to build confidence.

11:50am Al Thompson shares “Just seen an inspiring presentation from Linda Uren of Gloucestershire this morning about developing a more intelligent understanding of and response to adolescent need. And very good to see a deliberate sequencing of the transformation work too:

  • Evidence-based view of current and future demand, coming before
  • Whole system, supply side goals, coming before
  • Commissioning and model design (including partner contributions).

No doubt a system designed for the over 11 cohort will spark a ‘specialisation or silos’ debate, but at least there will be more evidence to inform it.

12.30pm Maggie Atkinson shares “We’re pleased to have launched our report undertaken with the LGA “A Brave New World.” It presents and reflects on, we hope for professional consideration, the publicly available data on trends in LAs’ Ofsted inspection grades and judgements in recent years. It poses questions DCS colleagues have reflected on with us, about how far current inspection improves practice on the ground in localities. Yesterday’s NCAS Session led by Cllr Simmonds,  ADCS president Alison O’Sullivan and Ofsted ‘s Eleanor Schooling, explored these issues and put forward a number of cases for continuity, interpretation, and positive sector led change. Exec Director at IMPOWER Amanda Kelly will have time with the LGA children’s board this afternoon for a discussion on these crucial issues.”

12:35pm Al Thompson shares “Currently hearing about ways of capturing evidence on effectiveness to defend non-statutory early intervention resources and make them go further.

Our research shows that £1 is spent on prevention for every £2.33 on safeguarding. There is investment there but, unless we can tell a clear story about what that £1 achieves, it won’t be for much longer. The ‘evidential imperative’ IS the ‘financial imperative’.

The earlier we apply the same principles to all ‘statutory’ looked after children spend the better.”

1:00pm Jeremy Cooper shares “Joe Fowler from Sheffield City Council sharing an excellent vision for community led care and support and experience so far. “Investing in good things happening not buying stuff.

It was great to hear his strategy chimed well with the specific example of a co-led organisation, Skillnet, from Matt Clifton and Steve Chapman.”

2:30pm Stirring words from Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner, encouraging us to to be bold and radical when thinking about the kind of society we want for our children, and to put children and families at the heart of devolution plans.


@ComCareLukeKayleigh says she had so many people involved in her life in care, then on her 18th birthday everything changed.#NCASC15

– An issue we have also picked up in our latest paper on CAMHS transformation

3:35pm If you’re attending ‘Making a difference to children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing’ at 4:15, then here is some IMPOWER pre-reading

4:15pm The next round of sessions are kicking off. Lots to cover…

Shocking fact from the CAMHS session: ‘Horrifically, 60-70% of children do not receive appropriate interventions on time’ for mental health issues’

4:50pm Lots of takeaways from the #CAMHS session this afternoon:

  • How do we make sure Future in Mind is a catalyst for even greater change?
  • The Young Mental Health services passport launched today by NHS England is a new initiative that will help young people avoid having to repeat their ‘story’
  • We need increased capacity and specialist capability in young people’s mental health

5:00pm Afraid that’s it for today’s blog from the IMPOWER team as we get ready for our evening events. Sleep well Bournemouth…

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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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