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Penny’s Last Blog

Writing my last CEO Blog I got to thinking back 15 years ago when I started at Outlook Care and how very different the sector was in those days.

There seemed to be a lot more money in the social care sector but the way we provided care was still institutional with many more registered homes and a very traditional way of working.  Contracts were more or less continuous but specifications were very task based and outcome based commissioning was still a long way off!

We have come a long way in 15 years and made huge changes in the way we support people.  Working in a personalised way is now automatic and focused on what we can help people to achieve, empowering people to make real choices.

What has also changed is the level of funding.  Year on year for the last five years we have had to manage “efficiency savings”, “cost reduction programmes” and  “delivering more for less”.  I think the sector has done an amazing job of delivering savings while at the same time maintaining quality and managing increasing expectations. But, and it’s a big but, there has to come a point where continued cuts will impact on quality.

Local authority support for social care funding is now very restricted and we can expect more people will go to their local authority for support as a result of the Care Act and a new system that is being introduced in 2015/2016  http://www.essex.gov.uk/Health-Social-Care/The-Care-Act/Pages/Default.aspx.  While many of the changes are welcome, ensuring that there is sufficient funding available to implement the new system without having a further negative impact on existing services is a big challenge.

Christmas will soon be upon us and for many people this can be an especially difficult time of year.  I stumbled across a great Blog last week called The Mental Elf that is very interesting and useful as it brings together high quality research and aims for “no jargon, no misinformation, no spin” which is very refreshing www.thementalelf.net.

Finally, I would like to say a very big thank you to everyone at Outlook Care, our partners and our friends who have made my job so enjoyable.  I will miss you all but I know that Outlook Care is in great shape and will go from strength to strength.

Thank you.

Penny Taylor