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Sarah Atkinson

The IMPOWER Collaborative



Across England, Councils are facing the welcome challenge of investing the additional £1 billion allocated to social care for this financial year through the Improved Better Care Fund (iBCF).  They must create value and demonstrate the impact of this year’s investment, as well as plan for the further £1 billon of investment in subsequent years.

We have just launched our IMPOWER Collaborative, a forum which brings together a group of leading local authorities and their local health partners, to address this.  Through the Collaborative we are:

  • Creating comparative analyses (quantitative and qualitative) of iBCF plans, identifying trends, similarities and gaps; as well as analyses of plans in delivering key national priorities e.g. health and social care indicators;
  • Connecting individuals working on delivering projects across different parts of the country, and creating opportunities for them to share insight in a safe and private communication space;
  • Sharing options around delivery and evaluation frameworks, and supporting Collaborative members on a 1:1 basis to put these in place;
  • Providing access to a wealth of information and best practice targeted at key initiatives being taken forward by Collaborative members;
  • Holding quarterly events to support learning, provide insight and create the voice of the Collaborative;
  • Using our IMPOWER INDEX (which ranks the performance of 150 councils to relate the content of iBCF plans to a range of performance and outcome measures.

The scale of the both the challenge and the opportunity becomes clear when we look at the £121 million of iBCF plans related to 255 schemes across the collaborative.  How do we demonstrate the impact of spend that is predominantly being used to ‘prop up’ services (40% of the funding for example is being spent on ‘stabilising the market’)?

The challenge can be understood further when we look at the Collaborative’s analysis on Delayed Transfer of Care (DTOC) performance.  Only 36 Local Authority areas are hitting their target DTOC rates; during the year, performance has worsened for 60 Local Authority areas.  Our work though the Collaborative is starting to help understand what is impacting this, in what has become a highly politically-charged area.

Existing members can now login to the Collaborative Digital Workspace.

The Collaborative will report nationally at the end of 2017/18 on its findings, and we are working with a group of leading Directors of Adult Social Services to position this report.  Membership of the Collaborative has closed for this year but we are already talking to local authorities and health partners who are interested in signing up for 2018/19. Members will have early access to some of the components above. If you would like to learn more, please contact Sarah Atkinson.

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