About Promoting Variety
Supporting positive, sustainable caring relationships, through the provision of breaks from caring, is a priority for social care policy and practice here in Scotland and across UK. The shift to more personalised social care support has also seen major changes in how support is planned and delivered in all care settings.
However, there are considerable challenges to delivering more personalised short breaks to an increasingly diverse population, against a backdrop of rising demand and declining public budgets. The Promoting Variety guide, co-produced with commissioners and other stakeholders, has therefore been prepared to help local authorities and Health and Social Care Partnerships work through these challenges and establish the conditions in local communities to provide carers with good and improving opportunities to access breaks from caring.
Promoting Variety has been updated (August 2021) to cross reference our approach to short breaks market facilitation with the relevant recommendations in the Feeley Report (Independent Review of Adult Social Care) and the recently published Self-directed Support Framework of Standards
Background and rationale to our ongoing work to support Promoting Variety principles and approaches
Promoting Variety provides systematic ways to improve the choice and provision of short breaks. Its principles were reaffirmed in the Self-directed Support Standards and the Feeley Review. However more work is needed to:
- Understand and remove barriers to promoting short break variety
- Identify and share creative practice examples (micro commissioning, challenge funds, pooled budgets, etc.)
- Ensure a pipeline of ideas to encourage new thinking and stimulate action
In this next section of the website, we will provide details of opportunities to further engage with Promoting Variety to share ideas on how we can embed the market facilitation principles and approaches contained in the guide.
NEW Our Promoting Variety development programme for 2022-23
Over the next two years, we will continue to support local partnerships to apply the principles and approaches promoted by Promoting Variety to developing and commissioning short breaks together. The focus of our work will be on supporting innovation, carer involvement and ethical, collaborative commissioning. A phased programme, structured around the three stages of Promoting Variety (Gathering Intelligence, Developing Ideas, Implementation) will provide opportunities to understand and address the barriers to and enablers of variety in short breaks.
As well as ‘open’ learning exchange events, there will also be an opportunity for up to six local partnerships to receive tailored support to help them research, develop, test and evaluate short breaks improvements they would like to take forward. These selected projects will receive up to £50k in funding as part of this process.
Find out more …
We are holding an open information event on the 19th of May 2022 (10am to 1pm) at The Falkirk Wheel to launch our programme and explain how organisations can get involved. You can register for this event here
You can also download further information here: Promoting Variety 2022 Information v2
Implementing Variety report
Implementing Variety: A report from research and focus groups: July – August 2021. Following on from the publication of Promoting Variety, this research sought to understand:
- Do HSCP strategic commissioning plans or performance reports reference short breaks and in what ways?
- Is there evidence of intentional market shaping activity going on?
- Are there Short Break Strategies or improvement plans for addressing the amount and variety of short breaks?
- Are provision and Short Break Service Statements being actively planned and reviewed?
- Are there interesting practices – or gaps? What’s behind these?
2021-22 Promoting Variety learning exchange events
To assist local efforts to develop a sustainable and varied marketplace of short breaks provision, we held a short programme of online learning exchange events. Each event was themed around one of the three stages of market shaping – INTELLIGENCE – IDEAS – IMPLEMENTATION – using reflective questions from Promoting Variety to encourage practice sharing. These events were aimed at those involved in commissioning and providing short break services but will be of interest to a wider audience too.
You can download a summary report from these events here: Promoting Variety learning report 2022
On the 30th March 2021 we held a webinar to introduce people to the guide and explore some of the approaches and ideas contained within it. A note of the session can be downloaded here: Promoting-Variety-30th-March-NOTES-FINAL
The Short Breaks Market Shaping Think Tank was made up of a core group who produced this guide:
|Denise Gillespie||Planning & Development Officer||South Lanarkshire Council|
|Don Williamson||Chief Executive||Shared Care Scotland|
|Des McCart||Senior Programme Manager||Healthcare Improvement Scotland|
|Innes Turner||Principal Commissioning Officer||East Renfrewshire HSCP|
|JJ Turner||Principal Commissioning Officer||East Renfrewshire HSCP|
|Linda Owen||Strategic Planning and Commissioning Officer||Dumfries & Galloway HSCP|
|Margaret Petherbridge||Project Development Manager Self Directed Support||Falkirk HSCP|
|Ashleigh Spalding||Research Assistant||Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership|
|Sheena McIntosh||Commissioning Services Manager||Aberdeenshire Council|
|Shubhanna Hussain-Ahmed||Development Officer||Coalition of Carers in Scotland|
|Susan Henderson||Planning and Development Officer||Scottish Borders Learning Disability Service|
We are grateful to the following for additional guidance and input:
- Annabel Davidson Knight, Collaboration Consultant
- Claire Pearson, Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership
- Edmund McKay, Gillian Fergusson and Gregory Hill-Connor, Healthcare Improvement Scotland
- Kate Hogarth, Shared Care Scotland
- Peter Burke, COSLA Health and Social Care Board carers representative
- Scott Fissenden, Fife Health and Social Care Partnership
- Laura Bannerman, former Chief Officer, Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership