by Stefan Milenkovic (Senior Development Officer, Older People’s Health and Wellbeing at EVOC). As we publish a new report that explores the The Future of Older People’s Day Care Services in Edinburgh, Stef reflects on his experiences in the sector and how he hopes this report can inform the future.
On the 18th October 2021, I will have been working for EVOC to support older people’s service providers for eight years. I was initially recruited to deliver the Local Opportunities for Older People (LOOPs) Programme. During that time, I have come to know organisations and their teams well and have had the opportunity to explore a number of different ideas. Some successful, some less so. All the way though, this has been a learning experience and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Though I will say – when I started my beard was not white!
Day Care Services within the city offer support to some of the city’s most vulnerable people so, when I was asked to try to find a way to help restart the support after the lockdown, I did my best to pull out all the stops. That has included work with Edinburgh Health and Social care Partnership, directly with Day Care organisations and the Care Inspectorate to try to make sure that any return was as quick but also as safe as possible.
The report that we have provided is based upon the lived experience of 200 people who attend our Day Care Services: the experiences they have shared show that their concerns when they go along to ‘the club’ are quite a long way from my own, I frequently find myself concerned about ‘increasing the use of preventative activities’, ‘building resilience’ and ‘reducing the progression of illness’. Their concerns are about seeing pals on the one or two occasions that they are able to get out of the house.
People really enjoy their time at the club and the relationships that they are able to build both with pals at the club and with staff are invaluable to the members who might otherwise be unable to get out and about and to their friends, relatives and carers who rely on the services. 97% of people who responded said that they wanted to get back to building-based services.
The report also looks at some of the longer standing issues which are now being addressed across the city:
- How do we work better together to strengthen local communities?
- How can we improve commissioning and procurement to reduce competition and improve services?
- How can we ensure that the assets we all bring to the table are put to best use?
- How can we make sure that an investment into a local community is retained by that community in the form of local community wealth, local jobs and local intelligence?
EVOC has been working closely with Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership to explore many of these questions through our Edinburgh Wellbeing Pact programme. If you would like to be involved in that work please register for our event on 28th October 2021
Looking forward we know that providers are ambitious for the future of the support they can offer to their members and the support they can offer in their local communities. The next few years should be exciting as we move toward the development of a National Care Service. If you are interested in the development of this work – we will be hosting a consultation event on the 27th October 2021 – please come along and make your views known. Register here.