Twin sisters reunited: How can we re-imagine health and social care for the future

31st July 2019 about a 8 minute read

This is the first in a series of conversations with FCC’s Greg Allen and colleagues, led by global thought leader, Jeremy Scrivens.

Jeremy: Something remarkable is about to happen in the UK through the positively disruptive leadership of Greg Allen and his team at Future Care Capital (FCC). They are hosting a new conversation in the UK to re-imagine integrated health and social care within the context of what it means for people to live in vibrant communities.

This conversation will connect the experts in our health and social care systems but also our citizens as equal players in the collaborative work to re-imagine and co-create what vibrant community living will look like in our cities, towns and rural communities. It is a wider dialogue that goes beyond the delivery of social care and health services.

Greg and his FCC colleagues believe that the catalyst for this vibrant future will be the radical and innovative idea of co-creation of a Care Covenant or Covenants bringing together experts and citizens at a local community level. The Covenant will form the basis for these new equalised partnerships between citizens, experts and providers.

In this blog series, I am delighted to have had the privilege to explore with Greg Allen, Sue Wixley, Stephen Chia and Joel Charles why they are inspired to host this new conversation on Care Covenants and why they are calling on everyone to join them.

To start with, tell me about Future Care Capital. It’s an intriguing name for an organisation. Just who and what is FCC?

Greg: We are an organisation that is passionate about the future of health and social care. We have been around for 70 years and have evolved significantly during that time. We are focussed on our research which helps to drive new policy in this area but are now calling the UK to a new conversation.

We are calling for a whole new approach to raising the debate and collaborating with others to get the messages out there that start to make a real change. We want to see new ways which bring others together across the UK for a new and fresh conversation.

Jeremy: Greg, I asked you an open question about who you are and your purpose. You chose to talk about collaboration first, ahead of money. That’s very different, even refreshing in the health and social care sector, where money drives most of the current conversation. 70 years is quite a legacy for you as a team to build on. Is this future a radical change or is it a new chapter in your story?

Greg: This is an exciting new chapter for us, one which follows other chapters. It takes us in a different direction but stays true to our core charitable purpose. We started as the National Nursery Examination Board but at our core has always been our work to develop an understanding of the inter-generational issues that face us all as a society in terms of health and care.

Jeremy: You talk about changing the current conversation that seems to be dominated by the NHS. Are you talking about a broader agenda?

Greg: Absolutely, it’s much broader. The NHS gets a lot of attention, quite rightly. For us, health and social care are connected. The idea of one system for both is talked about a lot but actually, you have some quite disparate thinking about health and social care. The latter has been the poor relation and yet the challenges facing care are very significant in the UK.

Jeremy: Do you see health as a subset of care, or care as a subset of health?

Greg: Good question! For me, care is at the heart of it. Whether you are talking about health or social care, it needs to be about care across the board and not just for one particular generation.

Joel: Future Care Capital has talked about the need for parity between health and adult social care provision. The NHS Long-Term Plan delivered a substantial funding boost for health, but we are still waiting for an adult social care settlement. Debates about funding should not override the priority to shake-up the old consensus about health and care provision. We need to turn the conversation on its head.

Sue: We are working in a system where in theory both social care and health are equal but not the same — like non-identical twin sisters. One, health, in the form of the NHS, we know really well to such an extent that it was represented at the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. It shows what an iconic institution the NHS is here. But when it comes to social care, people don’t know it as well until they come into contact with it.

Jeremy: We are moving into the age of personalised service design and delivery, where the individual is at the centre of things and people are all different. People are at the centre of the future of social care and health and each person has a name and a unique identity.

It was Kate Granger, herself a doctor in the NHS admitted for cancer treatment, who found that not a single nurse or doctor who treated her bothered to share their name with her, only the hospital orderly. So, Kate, a social native on Twitter, started up a Social Room movement called #HelloMyNameIs which has since gone viral across the NHS and globally with thousands of health staff involved. Since her death, Kate’s husband, Chris Pointon has continued this legacy.

Kate saw this hashtag as a call for a Campaign for more compassionate care. For Kate, care and health are twin sisters when we take the time to get to know each other as real people, starting with our names, our stories and our aspirations for the future. This was Kate’s personal ‘why?’.

Talking about individuals and the difference they can make when they connect their personal why to a collaborative cause like #TwinSisters using today’s social platforms, what does the team at FCC care about as individuals and together?

Who are these people at FCC who are to lead on hosting a new conversation in the UK?

Sue: I am someone who cares a lot about injustice, fairness and equality. This is informed by my South African background and I am involved in local politics in Putney. I get to speak to a lot of residents about what is really happening in our community. These conversations and their stories underline for me some of the problems with our healthcare system, including that the link between health and care is broken. And the public’s expectations are changing which brings new challenges and opportunities.

Stephen: I come from a Central African context where the healthcare system is less developed, where you pay for it through a private sector provider if you can afford it. Here health care is seen more as a right, rather than a privilege.

My interest in FCC’s vision for a different conversation is driven by my background which combines charity work and the private sector. As a Project Manager, I am really interested in this conversation and how it can evolve into a project or programme of work with the new collaborations and innovations that come from FCC’s hosting the new conversation.

Joel: I believe the charitable sector has a key leadership role to play in supporting the co-creation of a new health and care consensus that meets the demands and expectations of our modern society. Future Care Capital has focused on the challenges and opportunities presented by our ageing population. The Care Covenant will need to facilitate a conversation about a far broader vision for health and care provision, one that manages to meet the wellbeing needs of all generations.

Jeremy: In the next in our #TwinSisters blog series we will explore how new technology can bring benefits for humanity through the power of convergence. Our society is calling for the health and social care Convergence Leaders to emerge and host this conversation. One such Convergence Leader is FCC, who are hosting this conversation and Sue, Stephen, Joel and Greg invite you to join them in this discussion.

Please join us as we continue this conversation and chime in with your own comments and questions.

What topics would you like bring into this conversation?

How do you think we can put vibrant communities at the centre of the conversation around the future of health and social care?

Will you join us in conversation around the re-imagining of health and social care through a Care Covenant?