An update on the progress of Croydon’s Health Wellbeing & Adults department’s work to adopt and embed a strength based community led support approach.
Anne Flanagan (Adult Care and 0-65 Disability Service Team)
The Adults Health and Wellbeing Project Manager introduced the item by explaining that this would be an update on the initial report provided to the Panel in October 2018. Members heard that the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi) had completed a two day ‘readiness visit’ in December 2018, where they had met 60 people across various council teams and the One Croydon Alliance. NDTi believed that Croydon was extremely ready to begin implementing the new Community Led Support (CLS) programme due to the commitment of leadership, the locality focus and the gateway approach. NDTi believed that Croydon would move fast, and had asked if Croydon could be used as an exemplar for future readiness visits to other local authorities.
NDTi had recommended that a geographic innovation area be identified, where the implementation could be started small and lessons learned, before scaling up began. Gateway North Croydon had been identified for this in particular, as many services were already in place that could assist with learning. It had also been recommended that work begin with the CDT and ‘front door’ teams from the outset, and this had started with a workshop in early January 2019. Further ‘Good Conversations’, customer journey and evidence & learning workshops would be set up for March 2019 with council and health staff, people with lived experience, local community organisations and the Croydon Adult Social Services User Panel (CASSUP). These workshops would decide what the key measures of success for the implementation of CLS would be, in addition to waiting list and waiting time information. Evidence from other areas that had adopted CLS suggested these would both be improved.
In response to queries from Members about how this would reduce waiting lists and times, the Panel heard that improved IT systems and reduced bureaucracy both contributed to these improvements. A secondment role would be created to oversee performance evidence and learning, as the data work would be crucial to the success of CLS. The Adults Health and Wellbeing Project Manager explained that in the future this work would help to inform commissioning decisions and identify gaps in services. The Panel also learned that CLS aimed to reduce the number of home visits, as a lot of time could be wasted, with people not home and people who could have received the same information through different routes; there would be additional focus on multi-disciplinary teams in community hubs as this would be more effective in supporting people.
The Adults Health and Wellbeing Project Manager informed the Panel that they would soon go to the All Age Disability and Adult Social Care Transformation (ADAPT) Board to agree the innovation area, and that the governance would also be done through here. There would be additional steering groups as well as ‘Good Conversation’ workshops with all frontline staff to provide tools and guidance on strength and asset based assessments and to have all staff using the same language.. The Adults Health and Wellbeing Project Manager stressed that there should be ‘bottom up’ measures of success, and that existing services will be enhanced by CLS.
Members asked about the timeframe of implementation, and learned that NDTi would be working with the council for 18 months, and that it was hoped CLS would be across the whole borough by then. Conversations with other boroughs had revealed that often the process sped up exponentially after the first innovation site had started. Members stated that need and resources in the south of the borough were quite different to the north, and that lessons learned in one may not help to inform the other; the Adults Health and Wellbeing Project Manager agreed, but stated that using the ‘bottom up’ approach would assist with this.
Members questioned the best ways for them to feed in to this process and were told that the local steering groups would probably be the best forum, but that CASSUP, ADAPT and this Panel were also options. The Chair thanked the Adults Health and Wellbeing Project Manager for attending, and expressed their excitement at the progress of CLS.