All posts by Kirsty

Leadership for Empowered and Healthy Communities Programme – recruiting now!

Following the continued success of the Leadership for Empowered and Healthy Communities programme, new dates have been announced for the next cohort.

This innovative programme explores how leaders can grow and nurture capacity in local communities to improve health and wellbeing and ensure better outcomes for people living with long-term conditions, disabled and older people.

The programme is aimed at senior leaders and clinicians across health, social care and beyond who want to be part of a movement for change. Participants will be encouraged to think radically about the role of ‘social capital’ in health and social care and the role of public service leadership in shaping the communities that citizens need and want.

The programme involves a series of one-day workshops, action learning sets, one-to-one leadership coaching sessions, a Myers-Briggs (MBTI) analysis of personality style and a specialist 360 degree feedback diagnostic. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about best practice as well as developing the leadership skills required to embed co-production into organisations and enable strong and empowered communities to grow and flourish.

The programme, which kicks off in July 2017, is a joint venture between Thames Valley and Wessex NHS Leadership Academy, Skills for Care, Think Local Act Personal, ADASS and the Local Government Association.

The New Economics Foundation’s evaluation of the 2012 programme found, “The leadership course was regarded in positive terms unanimously by those that attended. It was described as “excellent”, “inspirational” and perhaps most crucially, has already led to new leadership behaviours in those attending.” It also found the fact that, “…most of those who attended the course had already begun to transform their role or services is evidence of the extent to which the course inspired.”

The dates are:

6th July 2017
28th September 2017
9th and 10th November 2017 (residential)
24th January 2018
14th March 2018

To find out more, including dates for webinars / virtual learning, please click here.

To register your interest please email: Harmeet Bhatia at harmeet.bhatia@lehc.org.uk

Realising the Value: four months on

Last November, the Realising the Value programme launched its final reports. The programme aimed to enable people to take an active role in their own health and care, in support of the NHS Five Year Forward View vision to develop a new relationship with people and communities. This was an 18-month programme funded by NHS England and led by Nesta and the Health Foundation, working with Voluntary Voices (made up of National Voices, NAVCA, Regional Voices and Volunteering Matters), the Behavioural Insights Team, PPL and Newcastle University.

Over 18 months we strengthened the case for change and identified evidence-based approaches that engage people in their own health and care. We have:

● Drawn together and consolidated the evidence base
● Developed an economic tool for commissioners
● Created tools to support behaviour and culture change
● Explored the value of individuals and communities in their own health and care
● Pulled together a catalogue of practical lessons from local areas putting this into practice
● Assessed system change levers and drivers
● Set out ten actions to put people and communities at the heart of health and wellbeing.

We also worked with five local voluntary, community and social enterprise sector organisations that are exemplars in the field – Positively UK, Penny Brohn UK, Big Life Group and Being Well Salford, Creative Minds, and Unlimited Potential with Inspiring Communities Together. The understanding brought by our local partner sites has informed all aspects of the Realising the Value programme.

Now is a good opportunity to review the look back on the work we have done. There are some great numbers:
● Over 18 months we engaged more than 600 people directly through a series of programme events at key points, including our two final launch events in London and Manchester.
● We’ve had a lot of interest in our reports and publications. To date there have been more than 15,000 unique downloads of our reports.
● The online reach of our outputs has been significant. The Twitter hashtag #realisingthevalue had more than 4,000 mentions reaching over three million people. There have also been 26,000 views of more than 30 Realising the Value blogs

Behind these high level statistics there are some wonderful stories that have informed the way we think about what good health and care looks like.

Like Mark, who has lived with poor mental health over nearly 40 years and, through getting involved in a local football team, is now driven by an intense drive to make life better, for himself and others.

And Alex, a 41-year-old father of three, for whom a local project to promote the importance of fathers’ wellbeing and the impact it has on their kids has has brought clarity to his life.

We want these stories, and our work, to continue to inform and shape debate and action. And we are already seeing early signs that the tools developed through the programme are being picked up and used on the ground. We have spoken to a number of CCGs who are using the economic tool to inform their business planning, as well as voluntary organisations using it to inform their conversations with commissioners. And there have been more than 5,000 downloads of the two behavioural insight guides to date.

And we are seeing signs of Realising the Value informing broader policy-making. For example, the Director of Patient and Public Involvement and Insight at NHS England, Anu Singh, has said that,

“Realising the Value has formed the blueprint for NHS England’s new Supported Self Care programme”.

Dr. Alf Collins, clinical lead, person centred care, NHS England, has said,

“Thanks to the work of the Realising the Value programme, we can now see a structured approach to supported self-care that is based on evidence and practical examples. Given this evidence, NHS England is committed to providing leadership for the NHS to engineer Realising the Value principles and practice into the way it works. In short, putting in place Realising the Value will go a long way towards delivering the vision of Chapter 2 of the Five Year Forward View.”

Jon Rouse, Chief Officer at the Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership, has said that he has, “taken learning from the programme directly into the development of our Population Health Plan and our work on integration of health and care services.”

A huge amount of work has gone into the programme, and it’s fantastic to see the impact the work is already having across the system. We hope this provides a solid foundation on which we all need to build. We are now in a much better place to understand what should be done and how people need to work differently to put people and communities at the heart of health and wellbeing.

C4CC’s Reflections on Realising the Value

When it comes to transforming health and care, there are countless toolkits, guidance documents, and resources that provide information about what should be done and what could be done. There are numerous legal duties that set out what must be done. There is a growing abundance of evidence generated from what has been done. And there are plans about what will be done.

This can be overwhelming at times, but the wealth of information and conversation over recent years has led to a level of consensus about the fundamental shifts we need to achieve, that suggests that now might just be the right time to pursue and realise the ambition.

“More stars are aligned to this agenda this time, let’s make it happen,” RtV presenter at regional event.

The Realising the Value (RtV) programme has made a significant contribution to this sense of alignment and possibility. In bringing together much of the outspread evidence, strengthening the case for change and pointing to the breadth of behavioural, cultural and systemic change that would be needed to achieve the transformation, the programme marks a watershed in our approach to health and wellbeing, validating the community and person-centred approaches that are being championed by C4CC and its partners.

C4CC is committed to working with its partners and other key stakeholders to ‘become clearer about the difference that these approaches make to people’s own health and wellbeing and to the wider system (page18 ten key actions doc)’ and bring about the fundamental changes that are needed to enshrine these ideas into the mainstream.

We know that it’s not about re-inventing the wheel, but making the best of assets that are already in place and utilising them in coherent and sustainable plans. Our coalition is a diverse and vibrant partnership that spans disciplines and sectors and reaches into the complex networks of changemakers at local, regional and national levels.

Together we have articulated the enablers to change as the ‘three Cs’; better conversations, coproduction and community development. Through collaboration at a local, regional and national level we will:

  • Support the ‘do-ers’: increasing their awareness and understanding of the ‘three Cs’; building consensus about what the ‘three Cs’ mean in a particular place and to different groups; and, improving the knowledge, skills and capacity to do or deliver the ‘three Cs’.
  • Create the conditions: supporting the development of behaviours, practices, systems and cultures that will sustain the transformation being sought.

Change can happen in many different ways. The implementation of person and community centred approaches will be configured differently, will be experienced differently and will produce different results in different areas and for different people. Our challenge will be in developing the adaptive capacity of people, communities and systems to ensure that the changes can be sustained long term and become the norm.

All the evidence and resources produced as part of the Realising the Value programme can be found here. If you would like to get in touch with the team, you can email health@nesta.org.uk

To follow the work of the Coalition for Collaborative Care, you can join us, free of charge, as a member here, subscribe to our newsletter here and follow us on Twitter here.

C4CC’s Perspective on the Five Year Forward View Delivery Plan

Catherine Wilton, Director and Fiona Carey, Co-Chair of the Coalition for Collaborative Care, offer the partnership’s perspective on the new Five Year Forward View Delivery Plan:

Since the Five Year Forward View (FYFV) was published two and a half years ago, the Coalition has been working together with our 50 national partners to effect change at pace and scale across the whole health and care system, to provide a better deal for people with long-term conditions and their carers.

At the heart of our approach has been the ‘Three Cs’ of better conversations, building community capacity and co-production.  For people with long-term conditions this means a new relationship with the NHS – in which people have the opportunity to have a conversation about what matters to them and what good looks like, to explore the assets and supports they have available to them – among their family, friends and local communities – and to plan and coordinate with healthcare professionals the services and treatments they might need to ensure they get the best possible outcomes.  It also means NHS organisations behaving differently – actively supporting and working with local people and communities to build community resilience and to co-design the supports that people want.

The original ‘Chapter Two’ of the FYFW championed the importance of empowering people and communities, and while it doesn’t have a separate chapter in the new Delivery Plan, many of our partners know that to make the plan become a reality, the NHS needs to fully embrace the power of people and communities.  ‘Health’ is not just created by health services – it happens when people are able to take control of their own lives and have a voice in what needs to happen locally to support them, on a one-to-one, and on a collective, level.  It is great therefore that the delivery plan has recognised the need for Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships to develop the concept of and collective action for ‘Health Creation’, as advocated by NHS Alliance. 

Having access to health and care services is vitally important but it is the quality of conversations between people and professionals that will ensure the best outcomes for people with long-term conditions.  The RCGP have stated that it is a ‘necessity’ for care and support planning to become core business for general practice, as it is an effective way to support people with multiple long-term conditions.  And they believe it is so important that they have made it part of the RCGP curriculum, meaning that to qualify as a GP, new recruits will have to know the principles and have the skills to do care and support planning.  Over the coming year we will be working very closely with the RCGP and other C4CC partners to roll out care and support planning – not only is it the right thing to do for people themselves, we believe that it can reduce the pressure on acute services for two reasons – because people are able to look after themselves better, and better coordinated care is more efficient.

There are huge challenges facing health and care over the coming years but we also share the optimism of the delivery plan that a better and more effective NHS can be delivered. We strongly believe that a people- and community-centred vision of collaborative care, delivering the ‘Three Cs’ is the best way to build an NHS fit for the 21st Century and one that will continue to sustain us all in the future.

C4CC’s Co-production Team View 

Sue Denmark from C4CC’s Co-production Team reflects on what this means for people.

“As someone with multiple long-term conditions, I was glad to see GPs getting the recognition they deserve as I all too aware of how important they are. The increase in their numbers is good to see, but I did feel there was something missing around the quality of the conversation between the professional and the person – more access is great, but we need to ensure care and support coming from the time together is person-centred.

“I was also pleased to see such a focus on mental health and the increase in talking therapies, but I did feel this could have gone a step further, looking at how community-based services could provide support, in a different way to medical treatment.

“I know from my own personal experience how community-based groups and activities can contribute to a person’s health and wellbeing. A few years ago, myself and others needing regular leg treatments worked together with our GP practice to create our own group and receive our care there instead of making appointments. The group, simply by its existence, began to tackle other wider issues such as isolation and loneliness – friendships made there led to walking groups and learning new skills. This has helped to improve people’s physical and mental health and reduced pressure on the GP practice.

“Reading this plan, I was unsure how I as a person fitted in to it, but having considered it, I think we can help by taking the lead on looking at our own communities and helping to fill in any gaps with local, tailored solutions. This, together with the work of NHS England, will start to deliver real change where it is needed.”

Job Opportunity – Head of Business Development with Spice Time Credits

There is an exciting opportunity to join the Spice Time Credits team as their Head of Business Development.

As part of Spice’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT), you will help drive Spice’s scaling strategy. Leading a motivated Business Development, Communications and Marketing Team, with a focus on securing funding from national initiatives, local authorities, CCGs, foundations, trusts and corporate partners, as well as leading Spice external communications and marketing initiatives. Working closely with the Chief Executive Officer, SLT, Trustees and wider organisation to drive the growth of Spice’s offer, you will also have an important role in visioning and designing the future of Spice working with existing and potential clients to ensure that they remain at the cutting edge of community development, public sector reform, preventative health and time banking.

Spice began as a start-up eight years ago and has now grown to a team of more than 40 people, with offices in Cardiff and London, and programmes in five regions of England and Wales – their turnover has grown more than five-fold, reaching over 33,000 participants.

The location of the role is flexible, with a starting salary of £43,000, with London weighting where applicable. Deadline for applications is 9am on Monday 3 April, with interviews taking place on Tuesday 11 April, in London.

You can find out more about Spice here, and to find out more about the role, and to apply, click here.

Timebanking, Good Gym and Social Prescribing

From social isolation to valued sports coach in one move…

I have recently signed up to Reading’s ‘Ready Friends’ befriending network on behalf of the timebank that I set up and continue to chair. NHS England allows staff to spend a week, fully paid, volunteering in their community or on other charitable projects, so I took advantage this by spending half a day at a workshop with about 10 different community organisations, all committed to combatting loneliness and social isolation in our town.

The groups at the meeting spanned from traditional-type befriending services, like those run by Age UK, to community transport schemes and one small group of neighbours who provide a home cooked meal for someone else in their street by just cooking a little more than they would normally.

Our timebank is providing social opportunities and links between people who share interests or who need help, and we have lots of success stories – someone who got a longed for job as a result of the skills and experience that running the timebank gave them, a person whose path to alcohol recovery has been helped by meeting people outside their usual circle, and one older person who used to go away every Christmas because it was too painful to be alone stayed in Reading last year, to meet up with friends made through the timebank.

There are examples like this from timebanks across the UK – where fantastic outcomes that improve people’s lives are the result of people and communities helping each other and not about the services they receive.

Another organisation at the meeting sparked some interest – Good Gym is doing fantastic work, particularly in the London area, but now expanding its reach. It encourages people to take up running and help their community at the same time.

Participants have three choices – join a group that runs somewhere to do a community-based activity like a gardening project; run to do a job to help someone, usually an older person, like putting a shelf up, then run back again; or be paired with an older person, with the aim of running to their house at a given time in the week. The twist is the older person is designated as the runner’s ‘coach’, providing a real reason to turn out on a dark and cold night.

I have pledged to sign up when Good Gym comes to Reading, as goodness knows I need the extra motivation to drag myself out to exercise on a wet Wednesday.

And lastly, we heard how the social prescribing project being run by Reading Voluntary Action has really demonstrated the power of person-centred conversations. Coupled with signposting to other support and helping people get connected to people and groups in their local community it has delivered improvements in all aspects of wellbeing for those involved.

The key to all this continuing to happen is of course the statutory sector recognising the huge contribution that community groups make to health, even though some of the schemes in the network do not look like traditional ‘services’ and have grown from the bottom up rather than as the result of a commissioning process. We are hoping that by working together we can build a network of supports across the town so that people are less likely to fall through the net. And my vision is also that those ‘befriended’ start to be seen for what they can do for their community, not what their community can do for them.

Future Hospital Programme – Better Conversations

The past few weeks have been busy for me, meeting lots of C4CC partners and community groups and learning how the principle of ‘better conversations’ is being played out and reaping rewards for people with care and support needs across the country.

A few weeks ago, I was invited as an outside expert to attend a seminar on the Future Hospitals Programme run by the Royal College of Physicians.

It highlighted the fantastic work which is being done at a number of sites around the country to create a much better deal for people using their services, in particular older people with frailty and multiple long-term conditions.

All the ground-breaking projects were to be commended, but two in particular caught my interest.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board serves a largely rural community in North Wales, which brings its own obvious challenges. Their C@rtref project (meaning ‘home’ in Welsh) is pioneering the use of teleconferencing video technology in local community clinics to enable people to have a follow-up consultation with a doctor in the main hospital, without the need to travel.

It has proved a much more effective use of time for staff, with clear efficiency savings, while for the older people themselves it has meant having a single, holistic conversation with a geriatrician rather than several different conversations with different doctors, as well as much less wasted time in travelling. Seventy-two per cent of those seen were aged over 75, yet more than 80 per cent were satisfied with this new way of doing business.

I was also struck by the project in East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, which aims to provide personalised care for people at, or as close to home as is safe and appropriate. One study showed that their multi-disciplinary and co-designed approach prevented 59 per cent of admissions. I was impressed they had trained a team of volunteers to carry out detailed interviews with people in their own homes about their experience of care. In their words, in-ward surveys, ‘only tell you about a part of the journey.’

The examples showed that better conversations can be about the way we conduct doctor-patient consultations or how we take the time to really listen to what matters to people, whether in hospital or the community. And what struck me was that the staff involved were genuinely committed to making a difference to people, sometimes under very difficult circumstances. We are very much looking forward to working with the Royal College of Physicians and others over the coming months, to see if we can grow these person-centred approaches far and wide.

Masterclass in Co-production

A masterclass in co-production, hosted by National Voices, in partnership with C4CC, has been hailed as a “classic collaboration” and is planned to be repeated during 2017.

National Voices, under its Wellbeing Our Way programme, used the event in December, as a practical introduction to co-production, including what it is and how to get started.

It was attended by representatives from a broad range of voluntary sector organisations such as Age UK and the Alzheimers Society, plus others with a specific interest or experience of utilising community assets.

“I think one of the big strengths the day is that it was co-produced in terms of planning and delivering the event,” said Natalie Koussa, programme lead for Wellbeing Our Way.

“We wanted to give people a real flavour of what co-production feels like,” she added.

The itinerary for the masterclass included a series of practical presentations on co-production and the use of personal health budgets, with attendees also breaking into smaller groups to discuss various scenarios and practical implementation.

There was also a very personal perspective from C4CC co-production group member Paula Fairweather, on how her life had turned around after she took control of her own treatment, in a classic example of co-production and the use of a personal health budget.

“Paula’s story really touched people,” said fellow C4CC co-production group member Anna Severwright, who also presented at the event.

“For me, personally it was great to meet people in all these different organisations keen to co-produce and to see how much interest in it there was. It was inspiring,” she added.

Innovative approaches to engage hard to reach communities were also highlighted, using website and marketing techniques.

“We asked organisations to really think about the communities they are reaching,” said Natalie.

Specific action points from the masterclass included a series of pledges by attendees, with C4CC co-production group members Anna, Paula and Sue Denmark each offering an hour per week of advice and support for interested organisations or individuals.

“This masterclass was important because we were able to pass on our knowledge and experience of co-production to a wide range of organisations who are actively involved in the health, social care, voluntary and community sector,” said Kristi Adams, C4CC’s Senior Co-production Advisor.

“Our co-production group members can bring real life experience to co-design and deliver workshops such as this and we are going to build on the success of the day at a second workshop in Manchester in March, as well as with other future collaborations with National Voices and other C4CC partners.

Details for the Manchester-based Co-production Masterclass have now been released:

Date: Thursday 30 March 2017
Time: 9.30am – 3pm
Please register for this event here:

Priority will be given to National Voices’ members and members of Wellbeing Our Way’s communities of practice; any remaining spaces will be available for Coalition for Collaborative Care partners.

For further details click here.

Who decides what health means?

Claire Tomkinson, Trustee at Timebanking UK and Wellbeing Development Lead at Macc writes for C4CC about her reflections on the differing views on what makes us healthy and keeps us well.

I was recently running an activity at a large event in South Manchester to celebrate the launch of the hospital trusts Community Service Directorate. There was a huge variety of stalls ranging from health advice to support from local housing providers and myself and a colleague were asking local people a very simple question. What makes us healthy and what keeps us well?

The answers overwhelmingly included the following: having a role to play, having a purpose, not feeling useless, having days out, seeing friends and family, being connected to local people, volunteering, gardening in the front garden so I can talk to neighbours and stroke their dogs, going to different groups and activities and spending time with the grandkids.

We then covered the responses and asked clinicians how they thought people had responded. Their answers included: losing weight, smoking less, reducing alcohol intake, eating more fruit and veg and getting more exercise.

My concern is that in communities we have two completely different views on what being healthy and keeping well means and these tend to conflict with each other rather than complement each other- but how often do we ask people that we work with what is important to them, what matters to them and how this impacts upon their health and wellbeing?

We know that 30 per cent of health is determined by clinical factors while 70 per cent is affected by social determinants yet in health we spend the majority of time responding to health needs and fixing people’s lists of medical conditions without thinking about the protective nature of being an active, valued and connected member of the community. Defining people by their skills, strengths and capabilities and building upon what already exists in communities will have a massive impact on peoples resilience and ability to cope whilst preventing needs arising and enabling people to support themselves and each other within their community. A great starting point is to ask- what can you do for yourselves and each other to have an impact on health and wellbeing in your community, what can you do with support from the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector and what is left for public health to do?

Chapter Two of the Five Year Forward View talks about new ways of working with people and communities and Nesta are doing great work as part of Realising the Value, but something that I’m asked over and over again is “how do we do it?” How do we adopt a community asset based approach and how do we see people as more than a list of medical conditions to be fixed? One highly effective approach is Timebanking. It is simple and it works.

Timebanking only defines people by their strengths, capabilities, aspirations and what they can do for others. It’s based on mutual support, trust, respect and reciprocity. Everyone’s time and skills and valued equally and is a great equaliser as we all have the same amount of time each day. A common misconception about Timebanking is that it is all about volunteering, incentivising volunteering or rewarding volunteers. It isn’t. Timebanking isn’t about connecting volunteers to services and claiming something in return. Timebanking is about connecting people to people and making the most of things that happen in communities everyday yet go unseen and undervalued.

It’s about an older lady depressed that she’s struggling to maintain her garden but used to work in a dress shop and can make curtains and repair clothes as an equal exchange of time. She meets people, uses her skills, feels valued and doesn’t go to her GP as much.

It’s about a lady that had to give up her job as a nurse because of ill health and struggles to get to her many hospital appointments having a lift from local person in exchange for baking cakes for community events and knitting cardigans for babies.

It’s about a man who recently lost his wife, can’t cook a meal and was incredibly isolated attending a cookery class delivered by another Timebank member in exchange for doing small jobs and DIY for someone else.
As a result we see a huge impact upon the issues raised again and again by our health colleagues- people were less isolated, less lonely, more confident, more motivated and better able to cope just by self-organising around their assets and what they had.

It’s time that we started seeing people in communities as part of the solution instead of constantly being defined as the problem. It’s time to be a good listener instead of a good teller. It’s time to stop deciding what people’s needs are without ever asking what their strengths are and it’s time to celebrate and recognise what already exists within communities and see what happens when you connect people around their assets.

Claire Tomkinson is Wellbeing Development Lead at Macc, the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector support organisation for Manchester and is Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees at Timebanking UK.

Carers Rights Day

Richard Cross, a member of the C4CC Co- Production team, blogs on why Carers Rights Day is so important to him.

For 12 years I was one of the hidden army of carers, looking after my wife Sheila, who had complex medical needs, which eventually led to her being wheelchair bound and totally dependent on me.

It was a 24/7 labour of love and I had to live life through Sheila’s eyes, to meet all her needs, yet stay in control of the situation.

It was tough.

At times it was difficult not to feel resentful and bitter at the hand that life had dealt us at a comparatively young age. I was only 47 when I gave up my full time work as a auditor.

I will admit as well that I made mistakes and had I been able to access more support, I could have made Sheila’s life a lot better, her health would not have suffered so much as a result.

It was only a chance conversation with a local councillor I knew in my area in Cambridgeshire that changed my life, and Sheila’s care for the better.

She was able to cut through the red tape and help me get a much- needed stair lift I had been battling for, without success, for the previous four years.

The connection with the local authority also brought me into contact with my local carers support group – The Carers Trust Cambridgeshire – and I have been acting as a volunteer and advocate for them ever since, as well as a range of other organisations, such as Carers UK and C4CC.

It is my own experiences that have made me so passionate about spreading the word that unpaid carers and their wider family have rights — now enshrined in the Care Act 2014.

As much as anything it’s about their legal right to have an assessment of their own, independent of the people they care for — so their needs can be evaluated — and support — such as respite breaks — provided.

Sheila died last April and in memory of her I am determined that we spread the word that not only that support is out there, but how rewarding it is to volunteer to help others find that extra help.

But there is still a long way to go in raising awareness. In my own county of Cambridgeshire there are an estimated 78,000 carers, but only 9,000 of them access any official support.

With an ageing population this is a problem that is not going to go away, but I’m proud of the work that we have done locally to address this situation.

All our GPs have signed up to a carers support scheme, so when a carer comes into their surgery — maybe just to pick up a prescription — their details are taken and emailed over to the Carers Trust, who in turn can signpost them to extra services and support.

This GP support is so important, not least because carers need regular health checks of their own because the rate of burnout among them is a real problem given the every day stresses that do not go away.

It was very different back in 1991 when I first went to my GP after Sheila had a nervous breakdown. I was supplied with the necessary medication, which came with strict instructions, but felt I had no real say in her ongoing treatment and care, or access to the sort of community support I was later to access, but almost by accident.

Despite changes of attitude, we still have a long way in ingraining the notion of co-production, championed by organisations such as C4CC and Carers UK, where carers and the patient have more say over their treatment and the services delivered to them.

But if we are able to achieve this, calling on all the resources that are available in communities, and yes, by people simply having the sort of conversations that changed my life for the better, then it will be well worth the effort.

In short, the three founding pillars of C4CC – Co-Production, Communities, Conversation – are the way forward in achieving better and more focused care for people with long term conditions and we all need to work together to make this happen.

Carers Rights Day is held every year by C4CC partner Carers UK and they want bring organisations together to help carers in their local community know their rights and find out how they can get the help and support they are entitled to. You can find out more in the Carers UK ‘Looking After Someone’ – a guide to carers rights.

If you are caring for someone at the moment and would like to find out more about your rights and how to get help, click here.