Stakeholder Newsletter – Autumn 2021

18/11/2021

We are delighted to bring you up to speed on the work of the Commission. Lots has been happening since the last Update.

Listening & Engagement Exercise

Over the past couple of months, the Commission has been focusing on the shape, design and content of the Listening & Engagement phase of our work. 

Over the next six weeks, the Commission is inviting responses about care and support for adults with disabilities and those with needs in later life.  The Commission wants to hear from a wide range of individuals and organisations who have experience of care and care giving in response to our Listening & Engagement questions. The deadline for responses is 10th December 2021.

Please do respond – your views and thoughts are so important to us.  Equally, we encourage you to forward on information about the Listening and Engagement Exercise to your networks – the more voices we hear from, the richer our ultimate report will be. 

More information can be found in the press release.

Draft Principles & Values for Care and Support

With input from our theological workstream, led by Professor John Swinton, the Commission has developed a draft set of principles and values, informed by Christian theology and ethics, which we believe should underpin care and support in England. We have published these draft values and are consulting on them as part of our Listening and Engagement exercise to elicit feedback.

The following are the Values that we are welcoming everyone’s thoughts on. There is plenty of space in the Consultation to react and comment on them. 

Flourishing; Loving Kindness; Empathy; Trust and Mutuality; Universal and Inclusive; Fairness and Justice

Commission Meetings – Birmingham, Virtual and Lambeth Palace

We have been meeting virtually as a Commission every month, so it was a joy to have nearly all Commission Members together in Birmingham in September. For some it was their first “IRL” (in real life) meeting since last year’s lockdown which made the meeting even more significant. We started the day by sharing our own lived experiences of care and caregiving, and Anna Severwright helped us reflect on the themes from these.

The Reimagining Care Commissioners posing for a photograph at one of their meetings in 2021.

In a serendipitous piece of timing, we met on the day the government announced the new National Insurance levy to fund the NHS and social care.  Do read Richard Humphries thoughtful blog on this “The Government Acts on Social Care, but is it enough?”

We discussed a briefing paper from the theological workstream suggesting the need to develop a theological imagination that is both heavenly and earthly and for us to be tough minded and tender hearted. Some sage words from this briefing: “The work of the Commission is an opportunity to show the true character of the church and to speak words of peace, truth and love into both church and society in a way that stimulates loving Godly change and compassionate action”

Richard Humphries led a session to develop values that should underpin care and support in England and summarised the principles and values from past reviews, policies and legislation to inform our work. We debated issues of independence, safety and risk taking, and user-directed and controlled care. 

In our virtual meetings we have heard from a number of experts on topics that go to the heart of our work. In our 28 September meeting we heard from Julia Unwin on the topic of kindness and the difference between a transactional and relationship approach to public services. We discussed the demands on already overstretched, exhausted communities and the need to establish trust in the services that are provided.

The meeting at Lambeth Palace at the beginning of November was another great opportunity for Commission Members to get together. We shared some of own experiences of community, the principal focus of the morning session.  Our expert adviser Sian Lockwood OBE (left), encouraged us to think radically about the role of community.  Sian posits that local people can do many of the things that are currently delivered by professionals, and often in ways that can deliver superior outcomes.  Following Sian’s presentation, we discussed the role of the church and its position within local communities, building of communities and creating spaces where other voices can be heard, all issues to which the Commission will be returning over the course of our work. 

In the afternoon Commission Member Jabeer Butt led a session on addressing equality and diversity, beginning by inviting participants to share the origins behind their name. This exercise showed how many of our names had been passed down through generations, giving a sense of history, of place, and uniqueness. Intersectionality, the idea that we need to think not about mutually exclusive identities, but about identities that interact with each other, gave rise to much discussion and challenge on how a reimagined system of care and support could be designed for equity rather than measuring inequality.  That, and the importance of “proportionate universalism”, ie targeted work to address some of the issues that arise out of inequality, will be another area of focus for the Commission.

The Reimagining Care Commissioners outside of Lambeth Palace.

With the Autumn Budget and Spending Review having just taken place, Richard Humphries updated the Commission on what was in the detail – although there remains a sense that the Government is ‘fixing’ the wrong problem (that of people having to sell their homes).

We have more speakers lined up over the next few meetings. If you feel you have something to contribute directly to the work of the Commission, please do get in touch.

Latest Website News

On the Commission website you will find a new post from Commission Member Professor John Swinton “Tough-minded, but tender hearted, what the theology tells us”.  There is also a link to an article in Church Times in which the contributor, Robin Thomson, comments on the launch of the Listening and Engagement exercise: ‘The Archbishops’ search for a long-term plan is much needed” (05/11/21)

A new look for Reimagining Care Commission

As you will have seen from the masthead the Commission now has its own logo and visual identity.  You will be seeing more elements of the design rolled out over the coming months on social media, the website and other collateral.

Spreading the word 

Please share this newsletter with your networks and encourage others to sign up here to receive updates on the Commission’s activities. Please tweet about the Commission using #ReimaginingCare.