Kumu: a creative place for strategic people

“We’re a community of influencers with a common goal: leveraging relationships to build a better future.”



Article: Albert Heaney on the Social Services and Wellbeing Act

Albert Heaney is the Director of Social Services in Wales. Which – given that Albert is warm, approachable, and genuinely interested in people rather than systems – is a distinctly good thing.

Here’s his take on the Social Services & Wellbeing Act:

“This Act does not just change a few rules here and there, it is not simply a case of adjusting what we do now. It replaces and rewrites completely the legislative basis for care and support in Wales. It is a whole system Act, and for that reason it represents a totally new landscape for us in Wales.

It is worth highlighting some of the key themes underpinning the changes we are taking forward.
People – this means putting an individual and their needs, at the centre of their care and taking full account of their family and community.  We want to ensure that people have a voice in, and control over, the services they receive.

And this includes:
Well-being – shifting our system to well-being and supporting people to achieve their own well-being and independence;
Earlier intervention – we want to shift the systems of care and support to ensure people get the help they need quickly and easily to minimise the escalation of critical need and enable people to lead healthy, active lives;
Collaboration – strong partnership working between all agencies and organisations for the benefit of people.

The Government’s White Paper ‘Sustainable Social Services for Wales: A Framework for Delivery’ published in 2010: stated that:
Better services can be brought about by service users and carers having a much stronger voice and greater control over services.
The values of mutual support we hold dear in Wales must lie at the heart of our approach.
We believe that people want to contribute not simply receive.
We want to go much further and embed stronger rights, voices, control by citizens, individually and collectively, in the way services are created and delivered.

We want […] to change the way we work, how we think, and how we plan services.
Underpinning this must be a wholesale shift in focus, from paperwork to people, from process to outcomes […] with professionals working side by side with people, jointly determining the support needed to maintain or improve people’s well-being.

But what will this mean for you?  For your practice?
The concept putting people at the centre – of giving them a strong voice and real control recognising both their rights AND their responsibilities is now secured through the primary legislation ensuring that these things are not just tick boxes or add ons. This approach is central to promoting people’s well-being and to safeguarding them. For me it is at the core of professional practice.

At the moment we hear a lot about co-production – about producing solutions withpeople not for them. The commitment to this approach is central to the policy and to the Act.

The Act is critical to the transformation of social services because:
. It supports an approach based on prevention and early intervention.
. It improves solutions and interventions by drawing on people’s strengths and allowing them to make the best use of what is available.
. It allows people to retain independence and to focus on recovery.
. It encourages a more creative and more efficient use of resources and encourages flexibility
. It underpins the development of new, more effective service models, including social enterprise and co-operative models and services run by users themselves
. It allows resources to be better targeted by understanding need at a community and individual level.
. It promotes the safeguarding of people.

We have a golden opportunity now as we drive forward the transformation of social services, not just through the legislation but through leadership and cultural change.”

NeturalWalk Links People, Nature and Innovation in Southern Italy

“The NeturalWalk is as simple as its name suggests. A walk through the little-known territory of Basilicata to re-generate links between the people and nature, while discovering innovative opportunities “per la strada” (on the street). It was born under the banner of ‘Exploring Basilicata’, another project of Casa Netural, to discover social innovation opportunities and success stories of the southern Italian region. The experience of the walk is different from any “hiking” experience, as it’s a collective walk of inspiration and exploration of a territory, in which the main characters are the small villages and the people who inhabit them; their stories, their passions, their dreams, and their loneliness. The ingredients of NeturalWalk were basic: 23 walkers, 100 kilometers, six days and an open horizon. But the emotions and relationships it evoked were more complex and energizing than we could have ever imagined.”


The local is the best scale at which to innovate

“What we are seeing emerging is the idea of community resilience as economic development. The challenges of climate change, energy insecurity and economic precariousness require new and bold thinking. The local is the best scale at which to innovate, with the least risk of push-back from vested interests and the most chance of support, buy-in and creating unstoppable momentum.” – Rob Hopkins


Mothers of Innovation

Mothers of Innovation (via Nesta)
“Mothers sharing their experiences is an activity that has traditionally been dismissed as nattering, gossiping over the garden fence, parish pump chatter. We live with assumptions that date back to Victorian economics – that what happens in the domestic sphere is economically unproductive and requires no particular expertise. Yet theories of innovation would seem to suggest that networks, empathy and the ability to nurture human capital are crucial to turning good ideas into real change.”


The Nuka system of care: Lessons for healthcare redesign in Wales

This event was held in Cardiff in February with a satellite link in St Asaph. The event’s main speaker was Katherine Gottlieb, President and CEO of Southcentral Foundation: an Alaska Native-owned non-profit health care system, located in Anchorage, Alaska, which has been described by leading healthcare quality improvement expert Don Berwick as a “leading example of health care redesign in the nation, maybe the world.” The development of the Nuka System of Care was driven by creating ‘customer-owners’, fostering an environment for creativity, innovation and continuous quality improvement.