For integration to work, DHSC must be more than the department for the NHS

By - Integrated Care Journal
For integration to work, DHSC must be more than the department for the NHS

There is a cultural disconnect, or rather a chasm, between clinical health thinking and the practical delivery of social care. This is acutely felt by individuals living with autism, learning disabilities, and to those with physical and mental health issues. Social care providers can’t just “do care” to individuals with fluctuating life defining conditions – we achieve it with them, using the right staff at the right time, while respecting rights and family preferences.

CQC, Commissioners, ONS, DHSC, PHE, overly project a culture of “my way or no way” softened by consultation mood music. The reality is that social care providers are the dog that everyone is kicking to fit their own narrow agenda, defined by an over emphasis on academic thinking. Rightly academics shoot for the stars in their policy proposals, but can’t factor in the requisite “engineers” that need to deliver their ambitions, and have little regard for the supply chain issues that make success virtually impossible.

Academics, stakeholders and policy makers collectively demand more. Fine, except as the cliché goes: care is broken. Covid, supply chain disruptions, vaccinations and massive wage inflation linked to labour scarcity at the lower end of the employment chain (with little prospect of reasonable fee increases), has all but killed the dog.

Care workers are not living but existing; service users are often taken to the brink of high risk – then another tracker to fill in, a visitor whose vaccination credentials need checking, a second member of staff who has now triggered another lockdown – more data to process to the health protection team. The model is broken.

There’s a cultural and societal problem: the academics’ theory underpinning the various agencies versus the practical reality of care delivery. How can the academic understand nuts and bolts operational issues beyond the context of how they see the world? They don’t stay awake worrying about what might be happening in the home, or what morning might bring. They don’t have the care worker’s emotional intelligence or commitment – the unrecognised glue making the impossible, possible.

Data to tick a box or silo must become all-embracing, creating transparency for collaborative and creative working, the dynamic to drive practical solutions for integration. The regulator’s narrow enforcer role must evolve to facilitator, to incorporate a wider perspective similar to the CAA with its more collegiate approach.

We are proof that the data driven NewModel of care viewing everything from the ground up, defines the nuts and bolts and “engineers” necessary to create an ecosystem and supply chain that can integrate care. Where wins replace impossible expectations, and where progressive success replaces systemic failure.

What does integration mean to me?

Disruption – where integration is a single ecosystem comprising complex logistical and intricate supply chains. These continuously evolve by/through data, enhancing human intelligence that informs fault lines. Our data driven real time transparency model exposes warts and all, micro insights which define and grow dynamic organisational structures that are scalable.

Home From Home Care supports adults 18+ with learning disabilities and high acuity needs, including autism, epilepsy, complex health and mental health.

Above photo is credited to Home From Home Care.

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