Driving innovation across Waltham Forest's social care services

The Assignment

Waltham Forest had been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic; it had affected their residents, communities, and how they deliver their services, and the scale of the financial challenge they are facing. 31ten worked with Waltham Forest’s People directorate to develop a programme of work for the Social Care Innovation Unit. The aim of the unit is to strengthen Waltham Forest’s focus on innovation to support and improve the delivery of highly complex and demanding social care and allied services, whilst also addressing the financial challenges faced by the social care system in Waltham Forest. 

The Role

We worked with Council and NHS stakeholders to undertake an initial review of current activity, establishing a picture of work in train, barriers to success and risk tolerance of services. Together with Waltham Forest colleagues, we led on the development of a longlist of cost mitigation, change and innovation opportunities. We shared the opportunities at a Challenge Panel which included partner organisations and service leads to enable Waltham Forest to feedback on the longlist and establish priority areas. 

This was followed up by a series of workshops with directors and service leads to refine the opportunities, alongside financial and demand modelling to build an evidence base for the programme. We worked with the People Leadership Team to identify key opportunity areas for innovation and to drive efficiencies. We worked closely with PLT to build consensus around the opportunity areas and formed these into cases for change.

Key Outcomes

  • Costed cases for change which identified the benefits, outcomes and impact of the shortlisted opportunity areas, focused on:
    • A radical programme of change to revitalise the role the VCFS plays in delivering community-based support and prevention in Waltham Forest
    • A bold strategy for harnessing the potential of technology to transform how care is delivered over the next 10 years and beyond
    • A new offer aimed at preventing children from coming into care and better meeting their needs if care is the best option for them through a comprehensive approach to stepdown
    • Working across the system of health and social care to drive partnership-led change that reduces demand and promotes independence
  • Investment and resourcing required to deliver change in each area, with a total benefit profile of over £7m across 3 years
  • A comprehensive programme for the Social Care Innovation Unit developed in line with Waltham Forest’s principles and ways of working