A new model of care for Wigan

May 2018 · 3 min read

We have recently started work on a new model of care in the Greater Manchester borough of Wigan in partnership with person-centred pioneer, Helen Sanderson.

Wellbeing Teams For Web

In a bold move towards new ways of delivering services, we have taken Helen’s developing care initiative ‘Wellbeing Teams’ under our wing.

Wellbeing Teams are available to older people living in Ashton and Wigan and are a radical new model for delivering care and support within communities. They are:

  • Small teams of no more than a few people
  • Self-organising, with everyone trained and supported to do their jobs well
  • Values-led at every step, from recruitment to service delivery
  • Led by co-production, putting the people we support in control of their services
  • Focussed on wellbeing, both the people we support and team members

Wellbeing Teams integrate 3 key elements of care and support to create true wellbeing by ensuring the people we support are safe and well, connected to others and their community and supported to do more of what matters to them.

They are inspired by the pioneering work carried out by Buurtzorg nurses in the Netherlands, which has improved the quality of care and raised work satisfaction for employees. Buurtzorg translates as ‘neighbourhood care’.

The joint venture came about as a result of discussions with the commissioner at Wigan Council about the challenges and possibilities of delivering care services in their local area.

Rachel Peacock, our CEO, explains: “We were discussing how Making Space can support Wigan Council’s new Deal for Adult Social Care and Wellbeing, which is a radical change in how we work.

"The new approach pledges to view everyone as unique individuals who have strengths, assets, gifts and talents. Services must support people to live the best life they can, rather than fitting them into an inflexible range of traditional and expensive services.

“Joanne Willmot, assistant director of adult health and social care at Wigan Council suggested we talk to Helen as she believed our values and ambitions aligned. We had already worked with Helen previously to embed person-centred care plans so we already had a relationship to build upon.”

After the commissioner’s reintroduction, it has been very much a provider-led partnership. Upon learning about Helen’s new model for care, centred around small, locally based and self-organising teams, Rachel could see the potential for a great partnership opportunity.

She said: “The health and social care sector expects innovation to come from providers, even at a time when resources are being squeezed and there is a low appetite for risk.

“As CEO of an organisation with a reputation for innovation, it’s not enough for me to just look at how I can find efficiencies in our services to meet these challenges. It’s my responsibility to be aware and alert to new start-ups in the sector and rather than compete with them it makes sense to join forces. After all, we are all headed for the same goal – improved outcomes for the people we support.

"Despite this, and the difficulties established organisations face when trying to innovate, Making Space has found a way to do just that. We have created the structure and support, lent our experience and provided financial support and security to incubate a new provider, Wellbeing Teams.”

Helen can see a number of advantages to partnership working in this way. She said: “Wellbeing Teams is benefiting from working with the Making Space’s finance team, HR department and marketing and communications personnel, as well as a great deal of personal support from the CEO.

"We are about to open a joint Wigan office in Ashton-in-Makerfield, which will see our two workplace cultures operating alongside each other on a daily basis.

"I am in no doubt that both parties have much to learn from the other.”

What have we taken from the partnership?

One example is the values-based recruitment approach that Helen uses for Wellbeing Teams, a process that landed her in the finals of the Skills for Care Accolades in 2016.

Values-based recruitment is about attracting and keeping people who have compatible values, attitudes and aspirations to work in a care, support or educational environment and it begins with identifying the core values of the provider.

“Making Space colleagues joined our recruitment team to experience the recruitment workshops first hand,” said Helen, “and this learning can be shared and implemented across the organisation.”

“By incubating Wellbeing Teams, Making Space is experiencing innovation in practice – close up – and can then decide whether there are aspects that they want to adopt in other areas of their organisation,” she added.

Another innovation Helen has brought to our organisation is the self-organising at the heart of the Wellbeing Teams philosophy.

“Making Space intends to extend this learning organisation wide in the next three years”, said Rachel.

Support from Wellbeing Teams will be available to older people in Ashton, Wigan, who receive a personal budget for their care from the council and also to self-funders.

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