Think global, act … personal: a sustainable future for social care

Catherine Max is an independent consultant specialising in sustainable health and social care.  Since 2009, she has led the Social Care Institute for Excellence’s Sustainable Social Care programme, funded by the Department of Health.

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) is working with partners in the sector to promote sustainable development in social care.  One question which arose early on in the Sustainable Social Care programme was:  could personalisation stimulate the market for more sustainable care services?  As researchers from the Institute for Sustainability, Health and Environment suggest ‘If several people receiving community meals in the same street choose different providers this could lead to increased environmental impact and transport costs. However, community-based models of personalisation … have great potential to facilitate the development of care and support that is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.

Last year, SCIE collaborated with Bristol City Council to explore the implications of personalisation for sustainability and test the appetite in the community for more sustainable approaches. We used a sustainable development framework to probe issues spanning housing, transport and the public realm as well as care itself. Our rationale was that this would engender a holistic understanding of needs across the life-course as opposed to a response to a care need at a particular time. Continue reading “Think global, act … personal: a sustainable future for social care”