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Five Year Forward View
In my previous work as an inspector, I was acutely aware that inspection visits were not always welcome, and in some cases were even dreaded. I did my best to counter this negativity by adopting as positive, constructive and helpful an approach as I could.
When the care regulation in Scotland changed with the advent of the Care Commission in 2002, and its successor body, the Care Inspectorate, the positive constructive role of regulation was recognised. One of its main functions was stated in law, and emphasised by the Government, as to 'support and encourage the development of better ways of delivering these services’.
Not a ‘policy agency’
It is good to see the regulation system in Scotland having this brief: it promises a role of bringing about, and supporting, change in care services and how they are provided. This is very different from its negative, if only imaginary, role of the care policing agency.
It is also good to see that care services throughout the country are moving to alternative models of partnership and inclusive working, putting the community and its members at the heart of planning care and health services. I have written previously about the Living Well service in Cornwall. This promises greater interagency working, using community resources, and providing more effective support in the increasingly limited financial and funding climate.
A ‘success regime’
I also wrote about the recent Bubb report which, in response to the Winterbourne View scandal, advocated 'the pooling of health, social care and housing budgets, and to mandate NHS and local government commissioners to draw up a long-term plan for spending that funding in a way that builds up community services'.
Five Year Forward View is another promising plan, for the NHS in England. The Chief Executive, Simon Stevens, anticipates moving the NHS to a 'success regime' to overcome present difficulties. The projected changes emphasise Partnership working, Preventive services, and Participation by people who use services.
I think this new approach is to be applauded. It is good to see positive, constructive approaches like this one being taken. And it is an opportunity for regulators too: they can highlight innovation in services as they happen to help ongoing planning. Their wide experience will be useful as to what will or will not work, and it will be another shove away from being seen as a permanent critic to being an active working partner in supporting innovation.
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