Our story?


In Manchester on 18 June, a diverse group of us with a shared interest in a better future for social care came together to co-write our story.  We talked about values and frames and were inspired by the work of other social change movements to reshape public thinking.  We learned about the importance of ‘igniting’ ‘intrinsic values’ of benevolence, self-direction and universalism through the words, ideas and images that we use.  We made up our own 30-second advertisements for social care, based on this learning.

Here is a first attempt at distilling our story.  Please use the comments page to   propose changes or suggest other ideas.

Our #socialcarefuture

We all want to live in the place we call home with the people we love, in communities where we look out for one another, doing the things that matter to us and with the peace of mind that should we, our families or neighbours need some support from public services to do so, that it will be there for us.

Great support offered how we want and need it helps all of us to keep or regain control over our lives.  It helps us connect and sometimes reconnect with the things that are most important to us and to realise our potential.  By doing so, it allows us to keep on contributing to our communities, with the benefits rippling out to everyone.

By investing in this together we can create great support, that works well for all and fits with our varied and complex modern lives.  It will help us with challenges like balancing work with family life and supporting our parents and grandparents when we no longer live close by.

By all making our contribution to this we can demonstrate that everyone genuinely counts and ensure we are all able to enjoy a rich and rewarding life, irrespective of age or disability.  By putting enough flexible, creative support in place, our longer lives can be something to be celebrated and looked forward to.

By investing together we can create reliable and effective social care support for everyone. By investing in social care, we can invest in us.



Leave a Comment

  1. Manchester is leading the way in how health- and social-care is seen as being intrinsically connected. By working together as one entity, health-care providers and commissioners, social-care providers, and local Government authority staff can work more effectively and efficiently than working alone.

    But in this endeavour, as with all similar partnerships across the UK, there is one critical element that is missing; a common communication platform that enables staff from all of the constituent organisations to raise, resolve, and share essential information on a whole range of issues, from human factors events to abuse, malpractice, and patient-safeguarding.

    While NHS hospital and ambulance Trusts may have internal reporting and analysis platforms for their own use, CCG, local authority, and more-critically social-provider employees frequently have no comparable system for reporting concerns. This shortcoming has been acknowledged as limiting effectiveness of STP and ICS.

    However, a commercial off-the-shelf solution that meets this need is available, and is finding increased service across the health- and social-care sector.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Neil
    You have done amazing work on this – it’s just so good! I love the ‘us and we’ approach.
    I’ve got a few thoughts which may or may not help!
    The text is strongly underpinned by the concepts of human rights, justice and entitlement – yet somehow we have avoided the words. Is that because at this time and this place, they just put people off?? I guess so ☹. But I think the concept of ‘fairness’ does resonate a lot with folk. So have put it in here…
    The other word that is missing for me is Hope – this is something people with dementia talk about so often.
    So here is a slightly amended version:

    We all want to live in our own place, with the people and things we love, in communities where we look out for one another, doing what matters most to us. And with the peace of mind that, should we, our families or neighbours need some support from public services to do so, it will be there for us, quickly and affordably.

    Sensitively designed and readily available social care helps those of us requiring support – and our families – to regain control over our lives. It revives our sense of hope and purpose, restores our potential and sustains our connections. And it allows us to carry on contributing to our communities, with the benefits rippling out to others.

    Because everyone counts, good social care will ensure that we can all enjoy a rich and rewarding life, irrespective of age or disability. Having this essential infrastructure in place enables us to celebrate and look forward to – rather than fear -our longer lives. Good social care will help us all to navigate the complexities and challenges of modern life, like balancing work with family, and supporting our parents and grandparents when we no longer live close by.

    By investing together we can create fair, reliable and effective social care support for everyone. By investing in social care, we are investing in all of us.

    Hope that helps, keep on keeping on….

    Philly Hare
    Co-Director, Innovations in Dementia CIC
    Base: North Yorkshire

    Exchange Fellow, University of Edinburgh
    Fellow, School of Social Entrepreneurs

    Innovations in Dementia
    Reg. address: PO Box 616, Exeter, EX1 9JB
    Website: http://www.innovationsindementia.org.uk
    Twitter: @Innov_Dementia
    To speak to Philly direct, phone 07932 995620

    Do take a look at our Dementia Diaries project http://www.dementiadiaries.org and follow us on Twitter @DementiaTweets and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/dementiadiariesposts


    Registered with the regulator as a community interest company No. 06046815


    • thanks Philly – great suggestions! In answer to your questions, I think it’s probably better that those concepts are strongly implicit/felt/recognised as a result of the words used rather than stated explicitly as, ironically perhaps, they tend to leave people a bit cold/fail to make people feel it/care about it.


  3. I love this and would like to think that the community space can also provide opportunities for all. To be involved in different things, to get to know different people, to get connected… the inspiration of what’s possible and what’s an opportunity.


  4. Love this and the inspiration it gives me. I’d also like us to think about the opportunity that there should be … for people to be involved, how they want. For barriers to come down and opportunities to be right for people and people to be empowered to take them – if they fancy.


  5. I think this is great. I’d want to add something about ‘being seen and valued for the strengths and skills we have and want to contribute’
    Not fussed about my words but you’ll understand my meaning!


  6. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to be in Manchester on 18 June, so I’m very thankful to those who made the time to do this important work. Thanks for publishing this and for inviting feedback.
    My comments are a bit of a ‘critical friend’ challenge … with the emphasis on FRIEND ☺️

    When I had finished reading this I thought I had only read the introduction and was waiting to get into the bit that spelled it out. It really does lay out some high level aspirational values, but in a way that’s kind of ‘motherhood and apple pie’ … in that who wouldn’t read and agree with this? I suspect that most people would also think that this is the way things are – until they actually ‘bump into’ the health and social care system (crash into it maybe?!). I also think that as a 30 second advert it uses a lot of big words rather than spelling it out a bit more plainly. They are words that those of who work with colleagues and local people often use, and which become understood, but might not make it as obvious for the public who haven’t yet had to know about H&SC.

    But how do we lay out the challenge in 10 seconds and then suggest the solution in 20 seconds? 😳

    I hope this different reflection is useful … it’s only intended to be helpful. Thank you! Brian


    • Dear Brian

      Thank you for your important and helpful comments.

      By way of context, the exercise we conducted last week in Manchester is part of a broader and longer-term project aimed at creating and telling a story that can mobilise public support for the reform and investment we seek. The first stage in any such exercise is to clarify our own ‘untranslated story’, which is what we began using a series of exercises (including the ‘write a 30 second advert’). This is not how we would convey this to the public at large – that is the ‘framing’ research to come – though it does pay close attention to the values and frames we believe need to be included: an expression of mutual obligations, community, universalism, contribution, equality and fairness. In particular, our story deliberately centres on the value of social care to us all.

      Alongside this, we have commissioned new research into media reporting of social care and into how the sector – especially campaigning organisations – talk about social care. We have also brought together insight into current public thinking about social care, including the work the Frameworks Institute carried out for us last summer. What this tells us is that the story ‘out there’ is quite some distance from the one we generated, centering above all else on the cost of social care, with those requiring it held implicitly responsible for creating pressures on the NHS, councils and society at large. What we know of public thinking aligns to this story, not to the one we generated last week, and not only among those who have direct experience. This story is universally allied to the assertion that social care is in or at the brink of crisis. Evidence from other fields suggests (and evidence about public attitudes to social care in England appear to confirm) that a constant refrain of ‘crisis’, especially in the absence of ready solutions instils fatalism which in turn acts as an obstacle to reform.

      That’s the impasse we’d like to help get past. Our goal is to create, through a fresh story of change, an affirmative, hopeful story of the social care future we want to see. In the absence of this, any specific policy proposals are, in our view, far less likely to receive a considered hearing. At the heart of that story needs to possibility – either a sense that this is an issue we can solve or something the public can do something about (ideally both).

      We’ll be publishing a report setting all this out in the next few weeks, which will also map out what we need to do next. It would be great to talk to you more as this work develops and thanks for finding the time to contribute.

      Best wishes, Neil


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s