Ground-breaking transformation programme shortlisted for national award


Buckinghamshire County Council’s Better Lives initiative has been shortlisted in this year’s MJ Achievement Awards.

The unique adult social care programme that works to improve the health and wellbeing of vulnerable members of the local community has been shortlisted in the Delivering Better Outcomes category. The MJ Achievement Awards 2019 recognise the best in local government services and staff.

Buckinghamshire County Council is one of seven local authorities shortlisted in the category which looks at how council teams have made a real difference to the lives of their citizens by providing better outcome-focused services.

The Better Lives initiative, currently into its second year, turns the regular adult social care model on its head. The new model aims to maximise the use of local resources and support better outcomes for people through greater focus on prevention, early and short-term intervention to support people to live independently and reduce reliance on costly, long term care packages.

The new approach has involved a dramatic and all-encompassing programme of change for everyone working in adult social care as well as partners in the health and voluntary sector. The council has been working with a partner company, Peopletoo, to implement the programme.

Following news of the shortlisting announcement, Councillor Lin Hazell, Buckinghamshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing said: “We are delighted that the MJ have recognised the scope and ambition of our Better Lives programme. Like most local authorities we have been faced with successive cuts to our social care budgets but at the same time, greater numbers of people needing our support and access to services.

“We knew we couldn’t go on the way we were so the decision was taken to try a new way of working that would save costs, but more importantly, put our residents and customers at the heart of everything. We are still in the process of rolling out the full programme but the numbers clearly speak for themselves, we can already see positive outcomes and saving from the first year.”

Maggie Kenney, Chief Executive of Peopletoo added: "We are delighted to be partnering with Buckinghamshire County Council in delivering this transformation. It has been great to be involved from the outset following our initial diagnostic in 2017 and to see the outstanding progress achieved to date.

"Sustainability is always a risk with large transformation projects, however the Council, supported by Peopletoo, has mitigated this by embracing a whole scale cultural change programme across the Service and its partners, focusing on the adoption of strength-based practice."

Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in London on Wednesday 26 June.

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