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Summer reading list.....

6 August 2018

Well we know from Matt Hancock that he is heading off to sunny Suffolk with a handful of reading materials to gen up on the world of social care (and health). So – it would seem to be apt for us to reflect on what should be secreted away in every good social care colleagues luggage – so here is a quick peak inside my suitcase…..

First stop will have to be the Local Government Association contribution to the debate about the delayed Green Paper ‘The lives we want to lead’. This came out to a flurry of news and commentary, hot on the heels of announcements relating to Northampton County Council decision to issue a 114 notice, and much of the reporting focussed on the clear demand for short term funding. However, the paper itself looks much longer term, and is strongly located in a localised, person centred, asset based vision of care provision in the future.

Indeed, I imagine that some of the paper drew it’s inspiration from some of the future focused thinkers who can be found writing for Social Care Future Blogs. I have really enjoyed this series of blogs, and will love the opportunity to dig deeper into them for inspiration.

For more stimulation connected to how transformation can and has happened within existing systems and structures, I will be looking to the excellent resources of the Kings Fund, and picking through their face to face interviews with those who have tackled transformation head on. Their recent report Transformational Change in Health and Social Care gives insight into four approaches to transformation in localities, acute, homecare and mental health. 

Skills for Care critical benchmark report on the Size and Structure of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce in England will be part of my essential reads. This is particularly pertinent as we look towards the publication of a social care workforce strategy in the Autumn. At the same time I shall be taking on the co-chair of a strategic advisory group focussing on this key agenda, and the sector will be gearing up for our very own national recruitment strategy.

Whilst there is a veritable smorgasbord of interesting reports on technology I think that I will use the opportunity to get my head around ‘Blockchair’ and read this report on Global Blockchain for Elderly Wellness and Care. I met Dr Jit Seng Tan at our International conference earlier in this year and am interested to understand this concept and how it might apply in the UK care sector. The report does focus on one system, so those looking for evidence of it’s potential application more broadly might look out for Blockchain for social impact.

Continuing on an international theme I plan to refresh my understanding of the global impact and pace of ageing, brought sharply into view by the excellent report ‘Ageing in the Commonwealth’ commissioned by CommonAge and presented at our joint event earlier this year.

Bringing the issue of ageing closer to home, I am really looking forward to digging into the Centre for Ageing Better strategy. This was launched last week and hones in on four core strands for the ultimate vision of ‘A society in which everyone enjoys later life’. These core strands of Healthy Ageing, Fulfilling Work, Connected communities and safe and accessible housing are all key to NCF members and I look forward to seeing them connected in this valuable thinkpiece.

I have also enjoyed the first few blogs I have caught from the Independent Age which are tackling key areas of discrimination in the Ageism Plus series. Through weaving together personal narrative, community insight, leadership think pieces and service descriptors they bring to life the real challenges that exist now, and will be compounded in the future unless we really begin to understand and address the impact of multi layered discrimination impacting our ageing population.

However, I am pretty sure that the Secretary of State won’t just be getting his information from paper based sources – therefore there are good few podcasts that us summer social care types can tune in to as well…

Road to Outstanding is a series of podcasts crafted by Sophie Coulthard, where she interviews a range of inspiring individuals across a wide spectrum of care. She is on her third series now, and has great discussions with managers, care staff, regulators, technology experts, activities coordinators, CEO’s and more. Take a scan through the back catalogue and download a few of interest to listen to ‘en vacances’!

And finally…

For those of you who are missing a chunk of political action during summer recess, there is still a chance to get to know the politicians in a little more detail. I enjoy listening to Nick Robinson’s Political Thinking podcast – and you can check out recent shows featuring Matt Hancock and Dominic Raab amongst others.

Of course – if all this seems too much like hard work and you want a snappy read for yourself – you could always take a chance and read the back catalogue of NCF blogs! Or take a well earned snooze in the sun instead……

What is on your list? #summerreading #socialcare

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