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Joining up and levelling up

Considerable changes to the structure and approach of England’s health and social care system are on the way. 

The Government has signalled its intention to bring together the NHS and social care, to deliver for communities while cutting back on bureaucracy. 

Most recently, the Government published a new white paper ‘Joining up care for people, places and populations’ following last year’s Health and Care Bill. Together with the People at the Heart of Care White Paper no one can dispute the ambition of reforms.  

Place-based approaches

The direction, particularly in the light of ‘Levelling Up’, is rapidly and rightly in Socitm’s view, heading towards place-based solutions. 

At Socitm we firmly believe that answers to the wide-ranging life experiences documented in the white papers, lie within local communities and the places in which they reside.  These answers can come from an empowered group of individuals who have a real life view on issues only they can provide.  Or they may come from data. Data joined up in a way that reveals new insights, empowering community leaders to make informed decisions to intervene early on issues like substance abuse or domestic violence.   

Wherever the answers lie, Socitm is on hand to support our members from across the public sector in delivering the best outcomes for the people they serve and to act as a voice to champion the phenomenal contribution they make in their local place.  

It’s why we focus on key policy themes

  • Service design and transformation
  • Modernising ICT service delivery
  • Ethical use of emerging technologies and data
  • Leadership, diversity and skills

They are all intrinsically linked with any requirements for successful community-based service design. This placed-approach is nothing new to us. It’s our raison d’être. 

But we need to develop and go further if we are to support our members in their role to successfully deliver changes cast firmly over coming years.  

An emerging theme, which will shape Socitm’s direction for the foreseeable future, is Regeneration, Sustainability and Connectivity.  The truth is rapid change is a constant. Regenerating communities, building sustainability and enabling connectivity now lie at the heart of positive change.  

What is the challenge? 

Amongst the extraordinary impacts of Covid-19 on organisations and local, national and regional economies, local authorities have been forced to change the way they work to address the needs of their communities.  

Looking to the future
The challenge is how can we successfully champion and stimulate place-based regeneration, sustainability and connectivity to overcome these impacts and living with Covid-19? Central to our interest will be to embed local public sector innovation, technology and modernisation at the heart of post-Covid recovery. This can then enable the growth and development of resilient people, communities, and places. This encompasses:  

  1. creating social and economic wealth 
  2. improving productivity and employment 
  3. increasing the health and wellbeing of all. 

We will:

  • support the future talent pipeline into local government. 
  • raise the awareness of the ethical use of data and data sharing.
  • continue to champion transformation that transforms lives and much more. 
  • do this because it is the way we answer the challenge thrown down with the legislation that’s in our domain.  

By doing so we enable: 

  • Infrastructure and public services: Better integrated, efficient and more effective health, care, welfare, emergency, crime prevention and education services combined with good and affordable housing, modern premises, connected transport and digital tools and solutions.  
  • People and communities: Engaging people with political and economic processes and decision-making that’s affects their wellbeing. Therefore ensuring everyone has a meaningful stake in the future of their place and community. Equipping people with the skills and confidence to remain resilient and adaptable in a changing work environment. 
  • Business and enterprise: stimulating a commercial culture which fosters entrepreneurship, investment and innovation to flourish. Attracting, developing and retaining talent, creating good jobs and enterprise and reducing unemployment. Increasing pay, raising household income levels and driving local investment.