Key research findings regarding domiciliary care

click to view details, click again to hide

•         People want flexible, reliable and responsive service

•         There needs to be more constructive dialogue between commissioners and providers

•         The views of older people need to be heard and taken into account

•         Time-task care plans undermine choice & control. Need to shift to outcomes (as defined by older people)

•         An enabling/reablement approach is needed

•         The service needs to be funded properly

•         Workforce strategies are needed across agencies – commissioners should specify standards including level of wages, expenses and other conditions of service

•         Outcome focussed and person centred care largely equates to a flexible, reliable andresponsive service

•          The views of older people and their families can conflict, but supporting family relationships is central to providing quality care  – staff need training and support in this area

•         Personal qualities of frontline staff often more important than competencies

•         Frontline staff are generally undervalued and their needs are not often considered.

•         Frontline staff often do not have a clear understanding of their role and purpose

•         Agency and staff ethos and values are more important than policies and procedures – a kind ‘can do’ approach is needed

•         Continuity of care workers (small numbers) and the associated relationships with the older person are of fundamental importance

•         Local authority provider have the general advantage of having more time and higher levels of funding – pay and working conditions of staff important

•         Micromanagement of provider agencies by commissioners and frontline staff by provider agencies is unhelpful, time consuming and expensive

•         Local authority pre-occupation with only meeting eligible personal care needs can be controlling and destructive

•         The most common unmet aspiration is to get out – hence the need for domiciliary care to link up more effectively with day services and community based support

•         Recognise and value the workforce

•         Enhance the role of the workforce in assessing needs, planning, co-ordination, reviews and working alongside others

•         Address the workforce implications of developing integrated services

•         Support the workforce in delivering outcome and person-focussed services

•         Care Council Wales working with Skills for Care and Development should review the NOS, QCF, training and skills for commissioners, service managers and frontline workers to effectively underpin outcome-focussed working

•         A step change in collaborative assessment and care planning is required - involving service users, carers and the workforce on a daily basis – not all down to the social worker

•         Standardised processes and documentation in assessing, reviewing and delivering outcome-ocussed services are recommended.

Summary of findings:

·         80% of people were positive about their experience

·         Conversely, 20% indicated that they rarely or never receive good care
Things people valued most

·         A listening approach that led to flexible and responsive support

·         Staff who went the extra mile

·         Continuity of care staff
Things people did not like

·         Lack of expertise in dementia care

·         Not having enough time to provide appropriate care and support

·         Lack of continuity of care worker

·         Poor communication regarding service changes

·         Service providers need to engage directly with service users - rigid time task care plans drawn up by social workers need to be more flexible and outcome focussed

·         Continuity of care is important

·         It is not acceptable that almost 10% of people rarely or never have as much time as they need with their care workers

·         People need to be able to voice their concerns and access independent advocacy - we could work with newly established advocacy services in Swansea (e.g. Age Cymru Swansea Bay)

·         Frontline staff need to be able to voice their concerns if they know that older people are not satisfied with their service

·         We need to monitor effects of austerity measures - particular concern about decrease in number of people receiving 5 hours of care or less and 20 hours of care or more.

·         Staff need to be better trained in supporting people who are living with dementia


Comment (0) Hits: 1735

Co-production, Labour history and social care: fact and fiction!


 “The term co-production itself dates from the 1970s, a time when movements to challenge professional power and increase citizen participation in community affairs coincided with efforts to reduce public spending”. Needham and Carr (2009)


It is surprising how easily history can be re-written, especially with limited awareness and understanding of the Co-operative Movement and the work of Robert Owen.

What is not generally known is that the word Co-operation was invented around 1817 by pioneers like Robert Owen to describe a vision of worker and community self-management in relation to ‘Villages of Co-operation’ and ‘Mutuality. Operatives were factory workers.

Comment (0) Hits: 1833

Global co-op leaders gather for Summit opening

Posted on 10 October 2012 by Ajay Jha, Times of India

Two thousand eight hundred co-operative business leaders from 92 countries watched the opening of the International Summit of Cooperatives in Quebec on Monday.
The event was opened by Monique Leroux, President and Chief Executive of Desjardins, organiser of the conference, and co-hosts Dame Pauline Green, President of the International Co-operative Alliance; and Dr Colin Dodds, President and Vice-Chancellor of St Mary’s University.
Quebec’s Prime Minister, Pauline Marois, welcomed the movement to Quebec. She said: “We have always believed in the social economy; our day care centres are an example. By letting parents come together to look after our young we are giving them the greatest responsibility.”
Ms Marois added that for communities to create quality jobs they must be involved in their own development, and organisations such as Desjardins promote this. She said: “These values are fundamental, solidarity is the ultimate end that has brought your members here to build a fairer and stronger society. By choosing to hold this Summit in our capital you are inspiring us for the future.
Comment (0) Hits: 1696

Oldham shows how co-op councils can work, says think-tank

By Richard Johnstone | 11 October 2012

Co-operative principles could help councils manage and reduce demand for services and create ‘a sustainable economic and social future’, according to a report from a Royal Society of Arts think-tank.

Comment (0) Hits: 1630

80–page superhero-style comic book tells the co-operative story

The story of the Co-operative movement’s birth has been retold as never before.

An 80–page superhero-style comic book tells the story of how workers in Rochdale banded together to buy goods at fair prices – and how the model soon spread across the globe.

Bosses at the Co-op Group, which has its HQ in Manchester, commissioned renowned comic artist Paul Fitzgerald to create the graphic novel.

They hope the book – set to go on sale in shops – will help bring the inspirational story to life for students and young people. A great bargain at £6.

Comment (1) Hits: 1703

Social Co-operative Objectives and the Social Services Bill (Wales)

All have been impressed by the human rights vision contained in the Social Services Bill (Wales) consultation. However, there is a widespread view that the Bill needs to be more clearly prescriptive of actions which will deliver this vision.


In July we wrote to the Deputy Minister Gwenda Thomas AM. It has now been confirmed that our four guiding objectives have been forwarded to the team drafting the legislation and guidance. They are:


a). To prioritise the recognition of Social Co-operatives and other forms of user controlled delivery models such as co-production;

b). To support co-operation and mutual support amongst Social Co-operatives and amongst service providers;

c). To recognise the affinity of purpose between local authorities and Social Co-operatives and to promote collaboration between them;

d). To promote the use of the multi-stakeholder Social Co-operative model to strengthen links between key stakeholders including users, carers, support workers, community supporters and local authorities.


We look forward to the outcome when the Bill goes to Committee in the New Year and when guidance is subsequently issued.

Comment (0) Hits: 1887

The Power of Reciprocity in Social Care - International

The Power of Reciprocity in Social Care - International

At the Co-operatives United finale to the UN Year of Co-operatives 2012 on Wednesday 31st October 2012, 11.30am -12.30pm (provisional time), a Wales Progressive Co-operators workshop takes place:

To provide an International Forum for delegates to exchange views and ideas on the latest developments in social care, especially from multi stakeholder co-operative and service user perspectives.


Co-operatives United have agreed to help stimulate international participation and we will collaborate with potential contributors to create an inspiring session. The session to be chaired by Robin Murray, author of ‘Co-operation in the Age of Google’.


For further details from October 1st 2012, go to:

Comment (0) Hits: 1695

Page 3 of 7

Hilda Smith, feminist and co-operator

Hilda Smith, MBE - ‘To hope, to dare and do’.

Hilda Smith, a distinguished feminist and co-operator, died recently aged 94. Born and raised in Burnley, she started work at 14 earning six shillings a week in a sewing factory.

Active in the feminist, co-operative and labour movements for over 50 years, her relentless commitment to social and gender equality stands out as an example of selfless commitment to the wellbeing and welfare of others. Hilda constantly fought for the things that she believed in, she was practically minded, compassionate and stoical in her determination.

Hilda started her political career in 1958 serving her apprenticeship in Woking Co-operative Womens Guild. In 1963 she was elected to the Political Purposes Committee of the influential Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society (RACS), becoming its first and only female chair within a short space of time. RACS was the only Society directly affiliated to the Labour Party. She used her influence to ensure that the voice of ordinary women and their families was heard by the Labour Party and Government, with easy access to Labour Ministers and Prime Minsters.

For Hilda, the 'personal was the political'. As a women who entered formal education in her mid forties, Hilda knew from experience that access to social, educational and economic opportunities was a key issue. She worked alongside prominent women MPs and trade union leaders on the National Joint Committee of Working Women (NJC), to bring about the introduction of the Equal Pay Act in 1970, the Sex Discrimination Act in 1975, and the formation of the Equal Opportunities Commission, who took steps to bring this to the fore.

As a patient in a TB sanatorium from 1947 to 1950, Hilda understood the importance of preventive health. She contributed extensively on health policy issues and chaired an NJC national working group which produced a comprehensive ‘Health Care for Women’ policy document (1977), (Virago). As a former nurse and as a social worker, Hilda contributed extensively to the NJC’s evidence to Government inquiries. including the Seebohm Committee (1969), the Finer Commission on Single Parent Families (1974), and the NHS Royal Commission (1979). She championed new and neglected issues and, in 1982, authored an NJC food policy statement which recommended developing a Government policy on food and nutrition to build a national approach to healthy eating. .

Throughout, she was never concerned with courting popularity. In 1981, against wider conventional opinion she supported a National Minimum Wage campaign because she knew this would help millions of women.

In 1990 she received a Shadow Ministry for Women award for “her lifetime, particularly within the Co-operative Movement, fighting for equality for women and for their full representation at all levels of the Labour Movement”.

Her meticulously-kept NJC papers and encouragement led Labour historian Christine Collette to take a fresh look in her book, the ‘Newer Eve’, at what was called the ‘second wave of feminism'.

On retiring to Wales, Hilda continued her work as Health Convenor for the Fawcett Society. She was very active for another 26 years and was awarded an MBE in the 2013 Honours List for “services to frail and vulnerable people”.

It is hard to measure the impact of Hilda Smith upon the way in which we have become committed to equality over the last 40 years. Her quiet determination and relentless passion helped to improve the lives of many people who will never know her name or understand her contribution. She lived life with purpose and with passion to deliver a greater vision of a fair and just society, and helped to make this world a better place.

David Smith

Hilda is survived by her sons Peter and myself, three grandchildren and nine grandchildren

Hilda Smith, born 10 February 1919, died 27 March 2013


Go to top