Best Value Reviews
Local authorities are legally obliged to undertake Best Value reviews of all services and an increasing number of voluntary and independent service providers are beginning to think that they should review their own services to make sure they will pass muster when they become part of the statutory process (as they inevitably will). A well targeted external input can make a very useful contribution to a best value review and there is sometimes something to be said for handing over the whole process to a third party.
Anyone charged with making these decisions needs to ask
What's special about services for elderly people?
Every aspect of those special attributes provokes a challenge under the Best Value process. Is the range of services available sufficiently broad and bespoke to meet the needs of the group? Is the current assessment process the most effective way to target most services. Are the services financed and provided in the most effective way? What can be done to extend the package to embrace health, housing and voluntary services? What can be done preventively to improve the quality of life and support for the wider population of older people? What can be done to improve the status, training, remuneration and performance of staff? What can be done to enrol the service consumers and potential consumers and the staff in the process of reaching effective policy decisions?
How Social Services Strategic Planning can help
Creating effective challenges from within an organisation is extremely difficult: from inside a building one can only look out. We come to each new organisation with an external perspective based on a range of relevant experience and skills. Keith Fletcher, the Director, has written about Best Value (Best Value Social Services. Pub. Social Services Strategic Planning), and about Negotiation (Negotiation for Health and Social Services Professionals. Pub. Jessica Kingsley) and has long (and international) experience of partnership in the organisation of services for elderly people. Mike Williams has a strong track record in financial management and organisation, of the special contribution of voluntary organisations and in the construction of benchmarks. Other associates have special expertise in various aspects of management, especially of the health service, in quality assurance and in financial audit.
But our style is important too. Unless you ask us to undertake an independent audit and report on current services we work alongside your staff in formulating the challenges and collaborating with the stakeholders to find better means of meeting them. Our intervention should be a good experience, especially for service clients, and we do everything we can to make it so.
Contact me, Keith Fletcher, for a preliminary discussion about your current position and intentions. We are here to help if we can.
For more information on services for elderly people goto PARTNERSHIPS FOR ELDERLY PEOPLE
Added, October 2000