One of the Collective networks is focused on re-imagining adult social care. The following notes summarise the first meeting on the 9th of November.


We are mixed group of people from voluntary and statutory sector working together on behalf of the residents of Barking and Dagenham.


Our objective is to:

  • Design, test, and spread innovations that:
  • Make it easier for Barking & Dagenham residents to find the help that they need
  • Make providing help more fulfilling
  • In the first workshops we will be:
  • Establishing strong relationships and trust between workshop participants
  • Use the synergy of the group to find some quick wins.


Ratio is facilitating the process. It will:

  • Guide the conversation to make sure everybody is heard
  • Listen and draw out connections between the contributions
  • Share examples of good practice in the Borough and elsewhere
  • Encourage participants to test and learn from new ideas.

Themes in first meeting

Previous discussions on the future of adult social care have focused on:
* How we connect better
* Provide a seamless service
* Build on the strengths of residents
* Make the statutory sector a better partner for the voluntary sector

The emergence of BD_CAN during the lockdown has given extra impetus to build on:
* Naturally supportive relationships in the community
* Informal as well as formal voluntary sector

A core element is residents trust in people who help. Many currently doubt the help that is offered. One workshop participant described how she could ‘feel the relief in the voice’ of a resident who needed help, and who said “your the only person I can turn to”. We have to remove the doubt. Allow people to feel there are many sources of support. Allow residents to be vulnerable. We have to make it easier for people to help each other.

What gets in the way?
* Moving between different levels of help (between thresholds to use the
system language)
* Bureaucracy that replaces of gets in the way of a relationship between
* Working to the pace of a system, and not to the pace of the person who needs

Things we need to learn about
* Warm handovers. Not passing the buck, pushing a case to someone else, but
staying with the resident until they feel comfortable they are in safe hands
* What more has changed as a result of Covid-19? Use of buildings. The greater
use of tech. Greater willingness to support people at home.
* How to empower people to help themselves better, and to help others
* How the council services can listen to residents via the voluntary sector.
(There isn’t a culture of giving feedback in the Borough)
* Ecomaps of who people turn to in difficult situations, such as leaving
* How to bring people together across generations (e.g. young and old people
who share an experience of loneliness).

Ideas we can learn from
* Shadowing people in their work (Red Cross)
* Walkabouts that bring people together to learn from each other as they visit
B&D communities, or B&D resources like a Food Bank
* NUKA system of care in Alaska
* Health Connections Mendip

* There is a lot of similarities with the Early Help group
* Focus on trust
* The relationship between ‘grass roots’ worker and ‘statutory worker’
* Rescuing what was good about the system 20 years ago

* Very strong feeling in favour of partnership
* Encouragement for organisations to come out of their comfort zone and get
* More social workers and occupational therapists at next meeting
* The statutory sector trusts the voluntary sector The voluntary sector need
to build trust with the statutory sector.

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