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NCF Leading the Way paper 2: innovation

Paper | May 2012

This paper is one of three produced by IPC on behalf of the National Care Forum (NCF), examining the distinctive contribution of the not-for-profit sector to improving the quality of social care provision. The particular focus of this second paper is the achievement of not-for-profit organisations in leading innovation in the design, delivery and funding of services, both in residential and community-based care, at a time when improved outcomes providing good value have never been more urgently needed.

The paper begins by identifying key characteristics of the not-for-profit sector that make it especially suited to innovation and adaptability – shared values at governance level; reinvestment of surplus in the further enhancement of services; capacity to raise extra funds through charitable giving; capacity and willingness, through bodies such as the NCF, to share best practice; and the presence, discussed in detail in paper one of the series, of an experienced, well trained workforce, committed to the notions of innovation and quality.

The remainder of the paper highlights recent examples of successful innovative practice in different service areas and different parts of the country. These short case studies are grouped under four themes: raising quality, based on adapting best practice to local conditions; supporting client independence and choice, for example through practical training courses; partnership working, especially around end-of-life care; and using flexibility in finance as part of a commitment to inclusion and social justice – being prepared, for example, to run a project at a loss in the short term to better accommodate client needs.

Services examined include those for older people, people with dementia and people with learning disabilities, and in each case the principles on which the project is designed – physical, logistical or cultural – are explored, and the benefits to users summarised.

For further information please contact Keith Moultrie at IPC


Tel: 01225 484088