What does success look like in care in the home for Dumfries and Galloway?

During the election I saw a tweet that suggested that the public don’t really think about social care provision until they or someone they know and care about have a need for it. I’m not sure who said this or if it’s entirely accurate. However, I have to admit that I only really felt the need to get immersed in in personalising home care when it became something that directly affected my family.

My Aunty Edie was 96 and still living in the same 2 up 2 down terraced house that she had been born in. She was a kind, independent and proud person who had always had a role caring for others. She supported her husband Jimmy who’s years in the coal mine had lead to problems with his lungs and mobility and her elderly sisters (including my Nana) who all lived to a ripe age, but who needed her practical help and support (I hope I take after this side of the family).

Aunty Edie had always remarked that the only way she would ever leave her home would be in a wooden box! When ill health and a fall resulted in her needing homecare she was grateful for the fact that this prevented her from going into residential care. She was incredibly appreciative of “the girls” as she called them and often said that they couldn’t do enough for her. However, when family members visited we could see that not everything was going well. This wasn’t because the carers didn’t care, they did! I think it was because they didn’t really know what mattered to her or how to support her in a way that made sense to my Aunty.

Developing her one-page profile was a logical solution and provided much more information that the care plan did. As a result, the care and support that Aunty Edie received improved.

In Dumfries and Galloway, several homecare providers are taking part in the Care at Home pilot and are currently practicing developing one-page profiles for both customers like my Aunty Edie and for their colleagues, using specific person-centred thinking tools to further personalise the customer experience and to focus on building resilient, person-centred teams.

I’ve been working with the leadership team who meet after each stage of the programme to analyse progress, celebrate and build on successes and problem solve anything that is getting in the way. I’ve been struck by the motivation of the homecare managers and am impressed by their practical, no nonsense approach to implementation. Despite the daily challenges experienced by the homecare staff, they have managed to not only deliver on the goals and targets that they set themselves, but have exceeded them. One of the things that I think has helped with this was developing a shared one-page strategy right at the start of the work. This showed what success looked like from these four different perspectives:

People using the services (customers) Staff and managers The provider organisations The commissioner

It identified how this would be delivered and how it would be measured. Each provider was asked to set their own targets; ones that felt realistic to them given their knowledge of their services.  These are the success statements that all 6 providers and the commissioner have co created and are working towards. In Steven Covey’s book ‘The Habits of Highly Effective People” habit 2 is Begin with the end in mind, which helps us to focus on what and where we want to be and do in order to be successful. I think early indications suggest that this was a great place to start.

Please click on the image for a larger version.


Michelle Livesley


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