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11th June 2013

Rapid change causing adult social care to be out of step with society’s needs

A state of constant flux

As the current £20bn reorganisation of the NHS continues the debate rages on about how best to configure the healthcare system to meet today’s needs.

If we stop to think about it, this seems a little absurd. Without a consensus on how best to organise it, the core of the healthcare system is undergoing drastic reorganisation.

This demonstrates an important observation of our modern world: we are in a state of constant flux. The pace of change in society is so fast that the process of reconfiguring services to meet current needs is always going to be behind the curve.

Reactive to change or change-ready?

Richard Humphries is a national commentator and writer on social care reform, the funding of long-term care and the integration of health and social care . He joined the King’s Fund think tank in 2009, and authored the discussion paper ‘Paying for social care: Beyond Dilnot’, published last month.

The paper addresses what is perhaps the single most important question in health and social care today: Funding. The paper discusses present and future funding pressures on the system and calls for health and social care services to be considered as a single system.

A list of 29 initiatives or major events to reform social care since 1996 is provided and it is possible to overlay a pattern on this list. This is the cycle of reform, a step process of Planning - Implementation - Results. This takes the shape of a spiral which reduces in diameter. This means that planning for the next reform takes place before the previous reforms are fully implemented and evaluated. Consequently the results of the previous round of reform are not available to take forward into the following cycle.

New data, research and analysis is emerging in a continual flow. This feeds forward to shape new initiatives, compounding the problem and adding further complexity. In effect adapting health and social care services may never achieve fluency and may always be perceived as reactive to change rather than change-ready.

Unless the pace of change is slowed (or the speed of the reform process accelerates) it seems unlikely that reform cycle for adult social care will ever be able to keep in step with the changing needs of society.

Be ready for the CQC compliance requirement of the day with QCS

Whatever the initiative of the day or funding model, there will always be a need to regulate the sector. Whatever the shape of adult social care services and whatever the regulatory requirements of the day, QCS remains ready to provide service providers with the tools that are needed.

QCS is able to speedily adapt its compliance management system through modular organisation and by using a pool of compliance experts to create and maintain content.

Click here to register for a FREE trial to see how QCS lets adult social care, dentists and GPs achieve compliance.

Click here to visit the King’s Fund and download Richard Humphries paper ‘Paying for social care: Beyond Dilnot’.

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