Heading off for a summer break? I thought I would share with you some of my top summer reading – just in case you find yourself drifting away from a daily dose of social care!

Focus on the future

Having spent the last two years plus waiting for the government to provide the elusive green paper, many of us feel cheated of the opportunity to properly discuss the future of social care – however, this has not stopped the growing body of work that we hope will inform any future plans. Here is just a brief snap shot of some perspectives – enjoy!

We have been waiting a long time to hear more about how the Industrial Strategy will take forward its focus on Ageing and The Healthy Ageing Grand Challenge fund has finally launched this week. Alongside this we have a new document from the Centre for Ageing Better which give some further insight into the direction of travel. Their new report Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF): Healthy ageing innovation and investment in the UK provides a discussion of the current ageing innovation and investment landscape and the current market opportunities and challenges. It offers reflections on where further investment and innovation is necessary and proposes how the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund can fill identified gaps and complement existing initiatives.

Social care future – These are an excellent series of blogs that have stemmed from work led by Martin Routledge and colleagues at In Control, amongst others. I think that the blogs give such a fresh perspective on how the social care of the future should be co-produced and co-delivered. Work your way through some real treats over the summer to give both fresh perspective and fresh hope around the level of commitment to really shift the narrative around care.

For those of you with real space in your suitcase – there is a bonanza of information from the Kings Fund. They have provided us with a fascinating webinar with Sally Warren (Kings Fund), Sir Andrew Dilnot and Emily Holzhausen (Carers UK) who debate the history of social care reform, and why successive governments have struggled to put new systems in place. There is then a blog by Sally Warren where she calls for the new PM to apply more haste, and less speed to his commitment to ‘fix’ social care, and a potted history of all previous reform undertaken.

On top of the overview from the Kings Fund about the possible response to social care policy – there are a couple of other documents that have come out in the last six months that give some potential insight into government thinking. The first of these was released in April this year, entitled Fixing the Care Crisis by Damian Green. Here he seeks to develop an approach to social care funding that aligns it with an insurance based approach, a model mooted to be favoured by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

The second is the report by IPPR, There is an alternative: ending austerity in the UK which came out in July this year, offering a perspective on the need for a range of universal public services, including the introduction of free personal care for all over 65’s. This approach is said to be favoured by the new leader of commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Released in paperback form in 2011, Intelligent Kindness: reforming the culture of healthcare; is a powerful approach to healthcare reform. John Ballatt and Penelope Campling argue that the NHS is a system that invites society to value and attend to its deepest common interests. It has been described as a vital expression of compassionate practise, and one that can improve if society, patients and staff can reconnect to these deeper values. To do so will improve quality and patient experience, as well as morale, effectiveness, efficiency and value for money.

And last but by no means least; The Missing Peace by Ian Donaghy. We were delighted to have Ian join us at our Managers Conference last year, his inspiring blend of experience, knowledge and sharing of people’s stories was a winner. He has brought these attributes together in his book on death and dying.

So – with that – I shall dust off my flip flops – and head to the beach – towing my reading trolley behind me…

www.nationalcareforum.org.uk