Looking back on ‘Fundamentally Different’

Something interesting happens when 100 creative leaders, thinkers and doers come together to discuss transforming public services.
That’s what happened last week at Fundamentally Different – an event designed to challenge the status quo in public services.

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Call to Mind: Designing remote mental health support by experience.

This year we completed our first piece of work with the national charity, Mind, taking a specific focus on their information and practical advice phone service, Infoline. As a leader in UK mental health support, Mind’s team were keen to understand how the service offer was understood, what current usage looked like and what gaps might be filled through further development.

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Purposeful participation & Pandemics

Purposeful participation and pandemics: Helping people to be heard when lockdown keeps you locked in

Lockdown has been full of firsts for most of us as we try to navigate moving almost every aspect of our lives online. Last week I had my first experience of presenting a webinar via Microsoft Teams Live. The webinar itself went smoothly (minus a couple of user error tech issues – all mine by the way!), the audience was engaged, sharing comments and asking questions throughout the session, and the presenters spoke passionately about the work we have been doing as a team over the past 12 months and about what we hope will happen next.

The topic of the webinar was Why Community Matters – an insight report into Early Help in Wirral for children and their families when they first start to face challenges that they cannot overcome on their own. I’ve spent the majority of the last 12 months listening, learning, writing about and listening again to families who have had good, bad and ugly experiences of getting the help they need. I’ve been desperate to share the things I’ve heard, so that steps can be taken to build on what works and get rid of what doesn’t. Ultimately, the system should work for families, rather than making families work within a system.

Ultimately, the system should work for families, rather than making families work within a system.

The report captures a huge range of life stories and is built almost entirely on the voices of the 450+ people who took part in the research, with some numbers and observations to add context. At times it’s a difficult read. Along the way we heard from a young girl whose baby sister died only a few days old, families who are managing multiple diagnoses of additional needs, families facing financial challenges and young people who are worried about their future if they don’t fit into mainstream education. However, we also heard about the life-saving networks of people created within communities that are preventing one another from tipping over into the social care system. These communities have welcomed me into their lives to share their experiences, vulnerabilities and ideas for what really effective systems need to address, and how they need to do it, without causing shame or embarrassment.

We also heard about the life-saving networks of people created within communities that are preventing one another from tipping over into the social care system.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, real people are still very much at the heart of this work; we have a team of parents and carers who have been there from the start, helping to keep us grounded in the reason we are all here, but, with families in lockdown, parents trying to master home-schooling and people trying to do their jobs from a distance, finding the time or space to think about anything that isn’t absolutely necessary for survival is quite the ask. The way forward needs to be paved by families and communities, but with them locked in during lockdown, the question for us is: how do we maintain their involvement in the most meaningful way possible?

Our next steps will be to design and test new ways of working with families to help them thrive in their communities. To do this, the families themselves, as well as the communities they’re part of, need to be involved in every step of the process.

The question for us is: how do we maintain their involvement in the most meaningful way possible?

So this piece, as well as being a reflection on how I’m managing a new way of working, is a call to action. If you have experiences or brilliant ideas to share, or if you want to be involved in any way, we want to hear from you.

Get in touch with me at Natalie.mansfield@capacitylab.co.uk

Liliycross facility opens in record time

Lilycross Facility opens in record time

Halton Borough Council, with the support of local care organisation Catalyst Choices CIC, has opened the doors to Lilycross, its step-down care facility in Widnes, just four weeks after starting work on the derelict care home. 

The 60-bed facility is intended as a regional hub for people recovering from Covid-19 and other major illness. It forms an important part of a wider ‘Out of Hospital’ project happening across Cheshire and Merseyside to provide additional capacity in the community, freeing up much needed bed space in local hospitals. 

The Council commissioned the project at the beginning of April, working in partnership with Catalyst Choices, Eric Wright Health & Care and Capacity, as part of its commitment to supporting the Halton population during the outbreak of Covid-19 coronavirus. 

To support the new facility Catalyst Choices has recruited 60 people from both the local community and the healthcare sector. 

Lilycross is an extraordinary example of what can be achieved when the public, private and third sectors pull together in a common cause. This facility will free up much needed NHS beds and support the community in Halton and more widely. Just a few weeks ago this building was an empty shell and now it is a superb, fully functioning care facility which will be an invaluable resource for our local community.
Cllr Tom McInerney
Halton Borough Council
To transform an empty building into a fully functioning care facility in just over a month is a huge achievement and one that was only possible when everyone pulled together in the same direction. We are so proud to have been involved with this project and look forward to seeing its first occupants arrive this week.
Christine Winstanley
Managing Director, Eric Wright Health & Care
This is a real opportunity for the local people to play a part in the delivery of Lilycross. We have recruited a strong staff team with a mix of experienced support workers, alongside local people from outside the sector who wanted to make a difference during the coronavirus outbreak. It is great to see the whole community pulling together to make this happen so quickly at a time of national crisis.
David Osborne
Managing Director, Catalyst Choices CIC

Other members of the project team include:  Catalyst Choices; Bridgewater Community Healthcare Foundation Trust; Warrington & Halton Hospitals Foundation Trust; St Helens and Knowsley Hospitals Foundation Trust; Warrington Council; Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG); Halton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG); St Helens Council St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Capacity facilitates new partnership between South Liverpool Primary Care & Patchwork Health

Capacity facilitates new partnership between South Liverpool Primary Care and Patchwork Health to manage COVID-19 staffing demands

Capacity is delighted to announce the new partnership with between SWAGGA and Childwall Wavertree PCNs and Patchwork Health. Patchwork will support the GP teams to meet staffing demands for the NHS Covid-19 Treatment Centre in Garston, the development and launch of which Capacity has been heavily involved.

Since the Coronavirus outbreak, designated practices within Primary Care Networks (PCNs) have been dividing themselves into “hot clinics” (treating patients with symptoms of COVID-19), and “cold clinics” (treating asymptomatic patients), to ensure the continued provision of care whilst limiting both exposure to and the spread of the virus.

Through its collaboration with Patchwork Health, and with support from Capacity, South Liverpool NHS Treatment Centre has recently opened its ‘hot clinic’, staffed by primary care workers across a range of 24 practices within the Speke, Woolton, Allerton, Gateacre, Garston and Aigburth (SWAGGA) and Childwall Wavertree Primary Care Networks.

With shifts and schedules previously managed by the networks using laborious and time-consuming Excel spreadsheets, Patchwork Health has granted the PCNs full access to its digital staffing solution for the duration of the pandemic. With Patchwork Health’s user-friendly technology, GPs are now offered the ability and flexibility to self-book onto vacant shifts, as well as ensure increased fill rates for safe staffing levels, reduced admin burden and greater visibility of workforce data for managers.

Most importantly, the process has been mobilised at significant speed; with initial consultations through to implementation of the Patchwork software taking only a matter of days.

Capacity Development Manager, Emma Lord, who has been working closely with Network Leads in South Liverpool for nearly two years now, said,

On Friday, we got in touch with Patchwork with a proposal to support SWAGGA and CWN with staffing rotas. By Monday, they had developed a bespoke solution just for us. We are very grateful for the time and energy it will save the practices, which they can now dedicate to treating patients and keeping the community as healthy and resilient as possible.
Emma Lord
Development Manager, Capacity
I have been a Clinical Lead for Digital Transformation for more than 10 years - dealing with start-ups and SMEs through to Emis and Apple. I have never experienced such customer-focussed efficient service - especially for a product with such fab user experience. This will absolutely support our recruitment of clinicians - now during the pandemic, and in the future.
Dr Simon Bowers
GP at Fulwood Green Medical Centre

If you are a GP or manager looking to set up a hot clinic or require any other support, Patchwork Health can replicate this implementation and be live within 48 hours, free of charge.

Please get in touch with Emma Lord, Development Manager at Capacity, for more information: emma.lord@capacitylab.co.uk.