Collaborative service design – CIPFA working with the Northern Councils Adult Social Care Directorate

Posted on 28th May, 2019

Co-Designing Services Together

This Northern Councils Adult Social Care Directorate, like many other Public Sector organisations was operating in a context of the unprecedented challenge, with increasing expectations for more outcome-driven services combined with reducing budgets, the expectation of personalised services, increasing demand, and a challenging policy environment. Recognising this they engaged the C.Co team to help them to think differently about how to deliver their services.

Our starting point was to consider the local context and the legislative requirements of the Care Act and to help scope the need to develop greater diversity in the care market to ensure that there was a wide range of high-quality services.

We helped to ensure the Councils services were accessible, diverse and responsive, enabling choice and control; There was a desire for Adult Social Care and the Council to deliver a diverse choice of services, moving away from traditional models of social care towards a joint health and social care ethos integrating operational and commissioning services where needed. Crucially there was a need to substantially improve choice, quality and cost effectiveness over the next three.

Our approach

Engagement and involvement of those closest to the service, i.e. the staff, service users and their carers, was a central part of any C.Co project. An engagement programme was therefore devised in order to include these audiences in a co-production and co-design exercise to help inform what the future of Adult Social Care services. A range of methods were used to engage staff, service users and their families, and communities to ensure they shaped how services were delivered and shape potential options and delivery models.

The feedback from staff, service users and communities, was, amongst other information, used to inform the future specification for services. Trade unions were also kept updated and actively engaged on a monthly basis. Over 700 staff were engaged and over 550 service users, carers and residents.

The outcome

Using this evidence as a basis we helped to build the case by identify the best way forward for each of the services in scope – whether that be in-house, commissioned from the independent sector, integrated with partners, through a Social Enterprise or Mutual, a mixed economy of the above or, should evidence show, decommissioned. Our analysis and considerations helped to shape the business case and develop the best options for the future.