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Staff Blog

Read the latest thoughts from our staff in our Staff Blog

Tuesday, 15 September 2015 07:00

Three ways to blame someone else

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    One of the most insidious ways in which institutions maintain their power is through their tendency to blame individuals for institutional failings. This often isn’t intentional: one of the mysteries of institutions and bureaucracies is that systems set up by well-meaning, clever people, to help other people, often act in ways which have the opposite outcome to the outcome which everyone involved intends to have. There is lots of research into why people don’t comply with medication or treatment regimes, but less, I think, into why systems don’t comply with the intentions of the people working within them.
Sunday, 20 September 2015 07:24

Scaling down

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We’re often challenged on how we can scale up the small, human-scale interventions which we promote. I’ve argued here before that we don’t need to: create the conditions in which many people can think and act like this, through taking the risk out and sharing the resources, and you can have tiny on a massive scale
Thursday, 18 June 2015 16:44

Minister meets Shared Lives carers in Newham

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Thanks to Anna (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), our Director of Support and Development, for this guest blog about a visit  from Rob Wilson MP, Minister for Civil Society, who went to Newham Shared Lives scheme during Carers Week and met one of our youngest Shared Lives carers and the family she supports:
Saturday, 20 June 2015 07:45

This much we know

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We know that we need prevention not crisis response – but that commissioners will not invest consistently in prevention, however much we want them to. We know we need workers to act autonomously and take risks in the individual’s best interests – but that most large organisations will create systems which rule this out (because risks to organisations invariably trump the risks most important to individuals).
This is a guest blog from researcher Catherine Needham of the University of Birmingham, who is launching the first research to look at whether size of provider organisation makes a difference to outcomes and cost-effectiveness. The summary is very readable and should be of interest to all care commissioners. Dr Needham writes:
Thursday, 25 June 2015 10:07

A shared life is a healthier life

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Over 200 Shared Lives carers took the time to tell us about the difference they make to people’s health, for a proposal we are developing to get Shared Lives established in the healthcare sector. 73% said they had received positive feedback from an NHS colleague about the difference their support was making to an individual’s health, such as:
  This guest blog comes from Sian Lockwood OBE, CEO of our sister organisation, Community Catalysts: Community Catalysts people are passionate about and ambitious for community micro-enterprises that invest in the health and well-being of their locality. We have been working since 2007 to support their development and growth and have seen over and over again the impact that they have on people’s lives – and on whole communities.
Tuesday, 28 July 2015 17:52

Shared Lives International?

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Regular readers will know that our goal at Shared Lives Plus is to double the number of people using Shared Lives in the UK, ultimately seeing Shared Lives become the go-to option wherever someone needs support and accommodation long-term. We have resources to aim for that goal in England where we’re on track to double from 10,000 to 20,000 people over five years. If we achieve that, Shared Lives will still only be a small part of UK social care provision – 2% rather than 1%. So what would it look like if Shared Lives was the main form of…
Sunday, 02 August 2015 17:46

Lean on me

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  In case you missed it, Anna McEwen has written a great blog about the Secretary of State for Health’s visit to Shared Lives in Newham on the Dept Health social care site: “Brenda supports two men (Kevin who has learning disabilities, and Louis who is recovering after a brain tumour) who live with her as part of the family. We were also joined by Shared Lives carers Elizabeth, who supports visually impaired man Dipan, and Evangaline, who supports John, an older man with mental health issues. We sat in Brenda’s garden in beautiful sunshine while Mr Hunt chatted to Brenda, Elizabeth and…
Tuesday, 07 April 2015 18:10

Clockwork or cogworld?

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The eminent thinker and activist John O’Brien wrote an article recently called Surviving Cogworld for www.ddnetworkinc.org, in which he talks about the rise of a mechanistic view of service provision in his home area of Wisconsin, reflections of which he sees globally. He identifies pressure on service finances and a merging of older people’s care and care for people with learning disabilities as the cause of the ‘cogworld story’ of how long term care should work: “People need long-term care because they are incapable of performing activities of daily living. Long term-care efficiently and cost-effectively performs the specific tasks that…

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