Care homes, housing, health and social care learning network

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About the learning network

This learning network is designed to improve and promote collaborative working between care homes and the housing, health and social care sectors.

Care home residents have some of the most complex health and social care needs in our society. They often experience gaps or discrimination in access to high-quality health care, including support for long-term physical and mental health conditions and specialist palliative care at the end of their lives.

Better partnership working between the housing, health and social care sectors and care homes could enhance the wellbeing of residents and reduce the number of avoidable hospital admissions from care homes. It could also enable older people to have more voice, choice and control over what happens to them, as they would have in their own home.

The learning network is a collaborative initiative between The King’s Fund and My Home Life.

Who is it for?

This network is for you if you are:

  • working in the complex interface between care homes, housing, health and social care
  • frustrated at the disconnects around care for older people
  • fed up seeing frail older people being passed inappropriately around the system
  • excited about the possibilities for fresh approaches and new models for enhanced health in care homes that put older people at the heart of our systems of care
  • part of a group of people, who want to work on improving the integration of services in your locality.

How will you benefit from this network?

There are unprecedented funding and workforce pressures across the housing, health and social care sectors, including care homes. Meanwhile, services continue to be disjointed and focused more on providers than people; we now have a real imperative, as well as an opportunity, to improve collaborative working with care homes.

Why this matters

For care home managers

Care home managers have a critical role and perspective to shape whole-systems thinking and planning. This is your opportunity to influence and be heard.

For housing professionals

Housing has often been overlooked in the ‘integration agenda’ and yet the relationship between housing, health and social care has a huge impact on people living in supported or registered housing. This is your chance to understand the perspectives of colleagues in both public and private health and social care sectors and bring your perspective to the change agenda.

For health professionals

Delivering the NHS five year forward view requires the NHS to provide more support for frail older people living in care homes. Further, the NHS needs to work with care homes, housing and social care services to help ease the demands and relieve the pressures on hospital beds. This network will provide you with the opportunity to explore new approaches and consider what these could mean for you.

For social care professionals

Are you working under pressure to get older people the right care, in the right place, at the right time? To succeed you need the system to run smoothly and this is your opportunity to connect with others involved in care and support of older people and see how you can improve partnership working.

What will you do on this network?

Six localities will be invited to join the learning network which will offer four one-day meetings, starting in January 2020. Each locality can bring a group of up to five partners from across care homes, housing, health and social care to the network to support and learn from each other. Each meeting will give your group the opportunity to work on a live project together, develop collaborative leadership skills, as well as hearing from specialist speakers.

Module one: joining up the dots…Care homes, housing, health and social care

In this opening module we will set out the changing policy context and explore how a more joined-up approach locally can become a reality. Each group will present their local situation and ambitions to the other network members, evidence on and best practice from My Home Life will be provided.

Module two: working in partnership with care homes and leading collaboratively

In this module we will explore evidence from research and practice in care homes for how improvements and innovations can be achieved. We will also work on the skills required to develop and sustain partnerships and collaborative leadership, in order to support the best possible care for residents in care homes.

Module three: addressing the issues in the wider system from the providers perspective

In this module we will address the wider system and hear from a national provider organisation. We will also introduce core dialogue concepts for cross-system conversations. The group will also design the content and style of module four. 

Module four: sustaining collaborative inquiry

In this final module we will cover any additional input required to meet group needs. We will also take stock of progress and consider what has been achieved and learned, and what is needed to sustain progress into the future.

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