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Europe’s social care leaders to share practice & inspire change

The theme for the European Social Network (ESN)’s annual seminar on 12 and 13 November is promoting quality in long-term care (LTC) making best use of procuring and contracting possibilities. The sessions taking place throughout the two days will provide a valuable opportunity to share experience and gain in-depth knowledge about social planning for home care, outcome-based commissioning and socially responsible public procurement from a number of countries including Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain.

Flexible long-term care through cooperative social planning in Siegen

“Most people with long-term care needs wish to stay in their homes and their communities for as long as possible”, says Professor Dr Johannes Schädler, coordinator of the Centre for Social Services Planning and Evaluation at the University of Siegen in Germany. The district of Siegen, situated in the German region of North Rhine-Westphalia, has one of the highest rates of care provided at home of all districts in the region. Dr Schädler will present at the seminar how local planning and decision-making can contribute to helping older people to stay close to their familiar environment while having their needs covered with the right type of support.

Outcome-based commissioning – Alan’s story from Swindon

“Alan had four home care calls a day, had been nursed in bed, and could not put clothes on for 3 years. Alan is now getting dressed and sitting out in bed. We have been able to refer him to the wheelchair service – he wants to get to the garden centre and get back into the garden”, explains Sue Wald, Corporate Director for Adult Services, Health & Housing in Swindon, UK. This improvement in Alan’s life was achieved thanks to the ‘outcome-based commissioning method’ that is now being used by public social services in Swindon.

In her workshop, Sue and Stephen Trowbrige, Managing Director of third sector provider First City, will explain how Swindon has managed to achieve better outcomes for adults with care and support needs using local long-term care. Outcome-based commissioning is implemented with a lead service provider, and in the assessment of how best to support adults with long-term care needs, public social services also include unpaid carers. “Thanks to the new commissioning method, we reduced admissions to nursing homes by 10% and delays in hospital discharge by 50%”, says Sue.

Investing in the workforce for better care in Avilés

“When tendering out home care services, we wanted to make sure that the providers would create jobs with equal employment opportunities, and that those jobs would be attractive for our local population”, underlines Begoña López González from the Regional Ministry of Social Rights and Welfare in Asturias, Spain. Making use of social and work standards in contracts can help to achieve this goal. Given the good results in hiring people who face barriers to accessing the labour market for instance in Avilés, the objective is to extend the use of social standards across public contracting. Therefore, a guide on social and environmental responsibility in contracting was published in Asturias in 2018.

Be part of the community  

We are sure you were inspired by this selection of experiences from across Europe. Join us to learn about and discuss quality in ageing and care at our annual seminar on 12 and 13 November. Be part of a community of experts from research and practice who will debate the role of procurement, contracting and quality in enabling access to the best possible care in the community for older adults with complex needs.

Register now to learn about the stories from Siegen, Swindon, Avilés and many more places across Europe.