Welcome to 2010

After my looking back post – a rather predictable looking forward post. I know it’s not especially surprising but I am still, at least partially, in ‘holiday mode’.

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As I hinted at previously, this year, I expect a lot of changes around in the implementation of the projects and planning laid out in the New Horizons document to come into fruition. It’s about ‘changing focus’ and we have already had ‘consultation documents’ distributed which seem to be proposing some quite dramatic changes in the CMHTs (Community Mental Health Teams).

I know I should some more enthusiastic, after all, the document certainly ‘talks the talk’ about prevention and improvement of access to services but having been barely a year out of the last reorganisation which involved me changing teams and caseloads and having two changes of manager in the last year, it has somewhat quelled my appetite for more imminent (over the next year anyway) change.

But such is the nature of the job, constant changes. All of which at zero cost. There were some noises about ‘Staff Affected by Change consultations’ which doesn’t automatically instil confidence. Oh well, it’ll be interesting to follow where it might lead us over the next year.

Individual budgets, personalisation and the rolling out of such. We have begun to implement the last of the ‘pilots’ and things are beginning to fall into place. I foresee more of the same really although obviously a move out of ‘pilot’ and into ‘implementation’. I expect much confusion and complaining until we all settle into the new ‘way of doing things’ which in the end, will use all the right language and be terribly effective for some people but for others, and possibly those with the least ability to advocate for themselves, will make little difference.

The social work Taskforce reports will rumble around over the next year, with much hand wringing by the universities who have been roundly criticised for failing to provide effective placements or levels of education of a new generation of social workers. I expect the GSCC to take a tighter rein in its role as regulator of academic standards.

And the GSCC has been thought the mire this year itself. It will likely just increase charges so it can retain its ‘independence’ from government but I can’t see it changing very much. It will continue to be detached from practitioners and run by those with little knowledge and insight into front line practice.

I didn’t realise how negative I was being – change isn’t bad of course. I expect the DoLs guidelines and codes of practice to be adjusted and improved through case law primarily but hopefully also by consultation.

There will be changes announced in the funding of care. I wish I could forsee what they are! It partly depends on the outcome of the general election. Whatever is chosen, will have a lot of discussion.

The theme of the year will be ‘zero-cost changes’ I expect as the public purse strings  continue to be tightened.

I also expect a year influenced by ‘Payment by Results’ in Mental Health services and outcome scales such as HoNOS and HoNOS 65+ which will be used to measure our ‘effectiveness’. I am not sure I’ve mentioned these scales before – we’ve been introduced to them recently and they probably deserve their own post but I was concerned I might drive people to boredom – another story for another day but I expect them to become ever more important over the next year.

For me personally, apart from the changes which happen around me, I hope to be able to work effectively alongside whatever might be occurring in the Trust and to ensure that I am a positive and competent supervisor for the student who is yet to arrive..

And my one resolution is, in the midst of change, to hold onto the main reasons I wanted to do this job and (which is ironic when this post seems a bit on the negative side!) to ensure that I accept change with a positive mindset because negativity can so easily spread and that the service that I deliver remains as effective and honest as it possibly can be.

And apart from wishing everyone a happy 2010, I’ll leave with a few lines  from Kipling which I never tire of and seems particularly pertinent to my thoughts for the year.

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:


If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son

And there’s some positivity to take with me into the year!

4 thoughts on “Welcome to 2010

  1. Hehe. We had HoNOS and then we had START and I think we now have SORN. Don’t ask me what they all mean. Now we have to ‘cluster’ people and we get paid according to how many in each cluster we have. Or something….

    I hate change :o(

  2. Oh, lots of new acronyms to learn about.. I have to say that filled me with more than a little terror.. but I want to enjoy the rest of the day at least!

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