Transforming Care by Dorothy Jarvis-Lee
Recently I read a statement from the World Health Organisation (WHO) commenting on the provision of integrated care. “The organisation and management of health services so that people get the care they need, when they need it, in ways that are user-friendly, achieve the desired outcomes and provide value for money.”
ubu is a leader in standing up for and supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our society. We are determined to ensure that the people we serve achieve their rightful place in society as equal citizens. Enabling and supporting each person in every possible opportunity to transform their lives with minimal support and maximum respect from ubu.
We believe that the transformation in the provision of health and social care is long overdue. It’s absolutely essential that people get the individualised care and support they need in the most appropriate environment for them. In our experience, this is not often, if ever, to be found in a long term hospital setting. Vulnerable people are usually only ill as frequently as everyone else and as such only require a hospital in extreme circumstances. Think about it. How often and when do you spend time in hospital? When we are so ill we need a hospital for an operation, for example, then it is the best place to be, but we don’t need it the rest of our life.
The National Health Service has talked about its goal of reducing the proportion of beds occupied by people who are essentially fit and ready to leave their care for years now but without delivering its targets. We know that many of those people cannot move on to enjoy their right to an independent life because of ‘delayed transfers of care’.
What does that mean? The answer is that because there is insufficient provision by Local Government in the community, therefore individuals are effectively ‘incarcerated’ in hospitals. This obviously has a very negative impact on their health and wellbeing. People should, without doubt, be receiving the appropriate support and timely care they deserve within their own communities near family and friends. It also means that patients with actual need for medical intervention are waiting for treatment and the hospital beds that they need and should be in.
Dr Crystal Oldman, Chief Executive of the Queen’s Nursing Institute, described the environment that hospitals offer for care as “controlled and contained”. The success of the people served and enabled by ubu’s uStep model is demonstrating that living with greater independence is both inspiring and achievable. When vulnerable people are able to live in a relaxed, personalised culture, embedded in the heart of people’s communities, where values such as respect and responsibility show that this kind of integrated approach to care is needed now more than ever.
We think that the cliché terms of ‘user-friendly’ and ‘desired results’ are inadequate to describe the kind of service care providers should be offering. It offers room for assumptions, such as what people want to do or how they should be cared for. ubu strives to be led by the needs, choices and aspirations of the people being served. We listen, understand and then act to enable them to achieve results that develop their skills, achieve independence and live the life they choose.
We ensure that the needs that have been identified and assessed are fulfilled and that their expectations and dreams are fully achieved. We train our team members to deliver excellent, competent and sustainable support to each person we serve in their local communities.
To this end ubu stands up and steps forward to provide and enable real change in the attitudes, values and practices of supported and independent living.