In December 2018, Essex County Council’s (ECC) Adult Social Care service (ASC) began conversations about the need to change. Essex recognised their current model was unlikely to be sustainable to meet the challenges and demands of the future. There was a need for a clear and consistent change approach, alongside a desire from leadership for a more compelling 21st-century vision.
We helped Essex define the social, financial and political case for change and what ECC’s future vision and mission for adult social care should be. This new model has been designed using evidence from across our work in the county, based on engagement with residents, community organisations, council staff and partners.
Discovery, February 2019 to May 2019
Collaboratively we undertook research and engagement with the ASC team, senior stakeholders, residents, providers and partners to understand the challenges and opportunities of ASC in Essex.
To understand these needs we carried out ethnographic interviews, facilitated community workshops, held vision and strategy workshops with commissioners. Research also included attendance at provider forums and joining the people of Epping Forest on a walking group.
Prioritisation, January to February 2019
In January and February, we prioritised a change portfolio to simplify and consolidate change activity and a change approach. It was widely accepted that:
- the change portfolio in ASC was not coordinated
- it was not clear how work began, was assessed, governed or finished
- there was too much work happening and lots of duplication
- there was not a consistent approach to measuring and reporting on common outcomes
Through five workshops and leadership team sessions, all work was categorised according to four categories (system transformation, discrete problem solving, get it done and future focused). We then prioritised our work within these categories according to agreed criteria, by reaching consensus across the leadership teams and with commissioners on a renewed approach to prioritisation.
The prioritisation activity reduced the number of projects from 70 to 36. We created and structured their work around five priority programmes and for the first time, there was explicit recognition that some projects required a different kind of resourcing and focus on outcomes.
Articulating a new vision, mission and model, September 2019 to February 2020
In summer 2019, we articulated a new vision, mission and model for Adult Social Care in Essex, and designed archetype journeys for residents interacting with the system in 2030.