Monday, 1 June 2015

Care & Repair doctoral research project

The Care & Repair Swansea University Doctoral Research project is now live! Given many of the headline messages from social policy and Welsh Government strategy relating to housing, health, social services and primary care, around a community-based social model of healthcare and public service integration, this is an exciting opportunity. Detailed work around our main activity as a frontline, home-visiting casework service will undoubtedly trace a bigger community footprint, which should be useful for policy development at a crucial stage in the debate around future-proofing public services.

Care & Repair agencies provide a unique and standard approach to the housing, environmental and living circumstances of older people. It is a blended approach, combining social care and technical housing fabric to provide a person-centred and problem-led approach. The older person receives an individually tailored, bespoke service. This has always appeared to work well. However, in a world of integrated approaches, shrinking public investment and competitive approaches, does it still work? ‘Bespoke’ is an old-fashioned and possibly hackneyed term, so are we becoming an old-fashioned service? In a fast-moving world, where the old artisan and craft skills are disappearing, will our approach end up as ‘time consuming’ and ‘over promising and under delivering’? Living under the big community tent and marshalled by statutory partners, are we a pivotal hub and close to the tent pole, or are we a cheap resource, disappearing at the edge of the camp like a flapping guy-rope?

My take on our ‘big offer’ is that we are the most modern of public sector organisations, anticipating important strategic trends and in the vanguard of change. We are defined by our partnerships and our collaborative efforts - in the best sense, ‘co-production’ in action. Seeking to build service capacity, we were a ‘social enterprise’ brand before the social entrepreneurs moved in. If you are looking to define prevention, we are responding to the real challenges older people face before they escalate into crises. If we deconstruct the pseudo-sociological concepts of ‘social model’-speak, we are a plain-talking, honest and accessible community delivery model. For the 12,000 older people we visit in their homes each year, we are a future-proofing service, keeping them ‘ahead of the curve’ rather than ‘stuck in the past’. I would say that, wouldn’t I? What do you think? This is an opportunity to say what you want as research student Joanna Wolton begins her investigations.

Neil Williams
Head of Agency
 Performance and Funding, Care & Repair Cymru

At this early stage, please leave a comment on the blog if you'd like any further information. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for getting this conversation sarted Neil. I would be really interested to hear what people have to say about this topic and I would really encourage everyone to share their views, stories and opinions because it will only enhance the research outcomes.

    Joanna Wolton
    Phd Researcher at Swansea University


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