Empowering the workforce to do the job (NToW33)
The Wilf Ward Family Trust is a registered charity which employs 1,200 staff and operates across Yorkshire and the Humber and the North East of England. It has been providing a range of social care services for children, adults and older people with health or disability needs since 1986.
As part of its 'improving lives - promoting independence' strategy, the trust wanted to develop more personalised services for individuals, develop cross-sector working and also empower staff and provide them with more diverse career opportunities.
One element of the trust's plans to take this work forward was the development of a Home Action Response Team (HART) in the Scarborough area which was developed as part of a cross-sector partnership between the trust, the local authority and private sector providers.
The project set out to identify the workforce development implications of such a partnership and to ensure that the workforce could provide effective, personalised support with confidence, competence and skill when delivering care and support to vulnerable people in their own homes. The overall objectives of the project were to:
- Build the cross-sector partnership
- Challenge traditional roles and reshape them to suit what people need now
- Share the findings with Skills for Care and other interested parties at local, regional and national levels
The trust appointed a project manager to lead on the development of a rapid response service (the HART team) in partnership with Carewatch and North Yorkshire County Council. A project team was established from current trust staff. A total of 30 staff were trained and asked to complete learning logs for analysis at the end of the pilot project.
The HART team was successfully established in the Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale area and the trust plans to roll out this model of working across the organisation. People using services, families and commissioners all reported significant improvements in service delivery and outcomes for tenants.
Managers highlighted the following achievements:
- The trust moved away from a traditional model of provision into a more self-directed model
- People using services achieved more independence and families saw their loved ones involved in a greater range of activities
- Frontline staff moved towards a more self- managing culture. They reported feeling more valued as a result of being able to work with greater autonomy
- Managers reported that there was less 'hands on' work which enabled them to focus on leading and managing services
Impact on workforce development and how you can use the learning
It was very important to ensure that staff were listened to and could influence the development of the pilot projects. Once staff were supported and could see the benefits of the pilots, they fully engaged and frontline staff in particular were very committed to working in new ways.
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