Civil servants go behind the scenes at front line projects
Civil servants have been getting a look behind the scenes at key projects helping some of Leeds’ vulnerable residents.
Two officials from the Department of Health (DH) got a closer look at work being done by staff on the front line of Leeds City Council’s adult social care team.
Simon Thompson, deputy director of workforce capacity and information and Julie Hall, deputy director of group financial management, were visiting as part of the DH’s Connecting programme, designed to help civil servants become more connected to the experiences of patients, people who use services and health and social care staff.
They began last week by shadowing staff based at the council’s Killingbeck office, where social care workers look to ensure service users get the best possible help with support and rehabilitation.
Simon and Julie also visited the South Leeds Independence Centre (SLIC) in Beeston, which opened last spring.
The 40-bed, short-term community rehabilitation unit is used when a person does not need to stay in hospital but cannot be supported safely in their own home.
The pair then went to St James’s Hospital to see the work done there by the Learning Disability Service, supported living and Safe Places, which works to ensure adults with learning disabilities have somewhere to go to help them cope with any distressing incidents.
Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult social care met with Simon and Julie during the week.
He said: “This is a great initiative that gives staff from different branches of the public sector a chance to meet up, talk and experience the work and challenges faced by their colleagues.
“Our adult social care team and staff in the health service are both working towards the same goal of helping people to live better, healthier lives for longer.
“In Leeds we’re doing some excellent work towards that goal and sharing our ideas and experience through programmes like these can only help us all to develop a more complete understanding of how to accomplish even more.”
In December it was announced that Leeds had been recognised for its pioneering work integrating health and care services.
Leeds is one of only fourteen areas chosen from over 100 around the country to become pioneers, and the only city to be recognised in this way for demonstrating innovative approaches to delivering integrated care.
Councillor Lisa Mulherin, chair of Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said:
“The better we can share knowledge and experience between all of those responsible for delivering health and social care, the better we can provide the services and meet expectations for everyone who needs to use them.
“Leeds is determined to see the best examples of health and care practice being an integral part of our commitment to being the best city for health and wellbeing.”
As well as the Leeds visit, the Connecting programme has also given civil servants an opportunity to shadow staff across the health and social care spectrum, from doctors and health care workers to hospital porters, staff working on reception desks or those staffing helplines.
Speaking after the visits, Julie said:
“We are very grateful to the city council for arranging such an interesting and varied programme which has allowed us to see some of the great work going on to support people using adult social care services in the city.
“We would particularly like to thank the dedicated and committed staff we have met, who have been generous with their time in allowing us to gain a better understanding of how services are being delivered on the front line.”
Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt added:
“To understand more about what patients and service users need and the issues which are important to them, civil servants need to walk a mile in their shoes.
“For the department’s leaders to hammer home the importance of putting patients first, they need to see for themselves what that actually means.”
For more details contact:
Leeds City Council
Tel: 0113 224 3937