Are you interested in self-management and what it looks like in practice in the UK?

Are you curious about what it could be like to work in a self-managed team and whether this is for you?

Could you be a future Practice Coach, Team Coach, Community Circle Connector or Wellbeing Leader with Wellbeing Teams?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions you might be interested in our 5 week online workshop starting in February. Over the five weeks you are supported by your coach and facilitator, Emily McArdle, who will provide you with guided reading, five practical assignments to deepen your understanding, and introduce you to guests who talk from experience about self-management

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Last year I started to talk to John Kennedy about policies, procedures and paperwork. This started when I was preparing for my CQC interview to become a registered manager with Wellbeing Teams and had to show a range of policies and procedures. This blog brings together conversations with John about paperwork and asking some fundamental questions about Care Plans.

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I was still occassionally tweeting over the festive period and a tweet from @Drmarkredmond to his students caught my eye. Mark and his students have been looking at Generation X and social care  and Mark’s tweet linked to an article in the Guardian called, “Why it’s difficult to attract younger people into the care sector.” The article refers to what is being described as a national crisis of recruitment and retention of social care workers. The usual solutions to this are presented –  increasing awareness of the value of social care and the importance of value based recruitment. I wonder if what we need is something more fundamental to this, about the way that home care works. The way we organise rota’s may be an important part of this.

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Last week reinforced for me how important social workers are in how Wellbeing Teams develop. I was working with senior leaders in Wigan and Martin Walker from Think Local Act Personal, on how we can introduce Individual Service Funds. This means that we want to look link social work assessments and paperwork with the paperwork used in homecare, to make it seamless for people and reduce any duplication. We also want to work as ‘Trusted Assessors’ and work with social work colleagues in that role. So our relationship with social workers is critical to our success, and I wanted to invest in help and support to get that right. This is where Ali comes in, as I have asked  her to be our advisor to support us to pay attention to the wellbeing of social workers in how Wellbeing Teams develop. I asked Ali to introduce herself, and why Wellbeing Teams matter to her. 

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The Wellbeing Support Team handook has been my labour of love over the last month. I have been trying to create something that expresses my hopes for our team, how we work, and how we live our values. This week I proudly gave copies to our new team as we welcomed Zoe and Vanessa who started with us on Monday. Michelle and Vanessa are the two coaches in our team, and their role is to support the Wellbeing Teams to flourish, self-manage and deliver compassionate, person-centred safe care. Our hope is that by doing this, we are able to keep our colleagues working with us, and have good staff retention. 

The Research by Gallup (featured in the book First Break all the Rules) has identified 12 questions that measure employee engagement and six that particularly relate to staff retention. If colleagues feel able to answer ‘yes’ to these questions, then they are more likely to stay with the organisation and be productive. In our Wellbeing Support Team handbook I have thought about how our different roles work together to try and make it more likely that people can say ‘yes’ to these 6 questions. I know that recruitment and retention are one of the biggest challenges in social care, we have not got all the answers to this, but I wanted to share what we are trying, and why these 6 questions matter.

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Are you born compassionate, or is it something you can learn and practice? Compassion is one of our values as a Wellbeing Team, and in our Value Based Recruitment we look for people who are compassionate, but should we see it as a skill you can teach instead?

I asked Caroline Bartle from 3 Spirit UK to share her views on this. 3 Spirit UK is a collaborative of social care practitioners and their goal is to improve social care practice. They achieve this goal in different ways but mainly through education. I asked Caroline to share her thoughts on compassion in social care, and what this means as a training provider.

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I met Rod two years ago at the Microsystems Festival in Jonkoping. I was immersed in my NHS Change Day Challenge of introducing one-page profiles in health and care, and talked to Rod about this. One year later, we were both back at the Microsystem Festival presenting on how Rod had introduced one-page profiles on Mallard Ward at Doncaster Royal Infirmary. I am delighted that Rod has agreed to be one of our Advisors in Wellbeing Teams. Our purpose is to do whatever it takes to support people to live well at home and feel part of the community. This means paying good attention to people’s health and in particular the reasons why people may end up in hospital. Rod is going to help us make sure we can do that. We are starting with a series of blogs together sharing Rod’s practical advice for keeping people well at home. I asked Rod to start by introducing himself here.

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As getting and keeping great staff is the greatest challenge in health and social care, what can we learn by thinking about it from the candidates perspective? In our next two blogs we think about approaching recruitment from the candidate’s perspective. If the process was designed around their experience, and not just in terms of an efficient organisational process, then what would this look like?  I asked Neil what he would recommend if we were starting with a blank piece of paper, and resources were no option, then how would he design  the ideal ‘customer journey’ for a candidate? What would we see if we were looking at it from that perspective?

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