The government is promising the most far-reaching review of health and social care management in England for 40 years. The review will be led by former Vice Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Gordon Messenger, who will report back to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in early 2022.
How much more than this do we know about the scope and scale? Not much to be honest.
We know that the intention is to uncover good practice that fosters innovation and leads to better health outcomes for service users. This should include practice that orientates health and social care more towards the needs of individual service users.
By implication, if not design, the review process is also likely to uncover any areas of substandard practice. Efficiency and value for money will inevitably also come under the microscope.
It’s also reasonable to assume that the scope will look at the entire social care ecosystem including commissioning bodies, care providers and the interface with health services. The aim is to target the factors that create regional disparities in efficiency and outcomes for service users.
That seems like an ambitious set of objectives to be achieved in a short space of time.
What Will Good Practice Look Like?
If we had to guess, good practice will involve an efficient mechanism for connecting people who need care with those who provide it. The system would feature a rapid and safe transfer of care and be built around helping service users achieve and maintain greater independence.
The experience and needs of people using care services should be the most vital consideration. Prevention and rehabilitation are more effective uses of taxpayer funds than the fall-back of hospital care, as well as being better for the individual.
If Gen. Messenger were to ask us for advice on the mission-critical components of the care ecosystem that should get special attention, we’d probably point him towards brokerage.
In many ways brokerage sets the agenda. It determines how well everything works. It’s a critical part of the process that matches service user needs to available resources. If it works well, people have a good initial experience.
Brokerage also determines what is purchased (whether by local authority budgets or self-funding). It can be hours (because that’s simplest) or it could be outcomes – which is more challenging because it is centered on the individual, but likely to be the more effective approach.
Brokerage is also a key part of the process that can be transformed rapidly using secure cloud technology. The eBrokerage by UDMS solution is a cloud-based platform where a range of care services can be brokered efficiently and securely.
The highly flexible eBrokerage by UDMS solution can be implemented within a few weeks and is easy to procure through the G-Cloud 12 framework, via Ulysses eBrokerage Cloud Software.