Developing Orkney’s Social Care: ‘Start Small, Think Big’

Last week over a series of 3 workshops Orkney started the process to transform its social care system.

Enabled by Community Led Support who are funded by the Scottish Government and Orkney Islands Council the 3 workshops first took the participants to founding principles – what does Orkney want its social care system to look like?

Where do we begin?

  1. Co- production brings people and organisations together around a shared vision – workers and users designing it.
  2. There is a focus on communities and each will be different.
  3. People can get support and advice when they need it so that crises are prevented.
  4. The culture becomes based on trust and empowerment
  5. People are treated as equals, their strengths and gifts built on.
  6. Bureaucracy is the absolute minimum it has to be.
  7. The system is responsive, proportionate and delivers good outcomes.

Orkney Health and Care have stated  that no decisions have been made on the future delivery model of social care in Orkney  and that they will respect the recommendations coming forward.

This series of workshops was delivered for Community Led Support by Brian Frisby. He assured the attendees that this initiative was not about taking away services from people. It is a move away from the deficit model where you respond to a series of problems. Instead it starts with the individual at the centre and their strengths:-

  • How do you want your life to be?
  • What is important to you?
  • What really matters to you now and in the future?

Community Led Support advice panel

Key to delivering change in this transformational way is to ‘Start Small, Think Big‘. This means you begin with trying out an idea, you reflect on how it went – what went right/ what went wrong – and if it did work you develop this,  taking it on and expanding its reach.

One idea is to have a community hub – a pop up neutral place where people could go to find out about what support they could have and to discuss what they would like.

Community Led Support will be back in Orkney. In August work will be done to identify a place which would be suitable to try out for a community hub. In October there will be workshops centred around ‘good conversations’. Once all this ground work has been done a steering group will be set up to take forward recommendations.

Developing Orkney’s social care system is incredibly important. It is not sustainable to continue the way it has been doing. It has to change to reflect islanders’ needs. There are many excellent groups and organisations supporting people in Orkney, a community ‘pop up’ hub might just be a way of bringing services together so that people get the support and advice when they need it.

It requires strong leadership, community involvement and trust. This is a transformational culture change that puts the person at the centre.

Community Led Support bannerReporter: Fiona Grahame

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