Care now and into the future – what is needed, and how to get there

By Tom Owen, Director of My Home Life England

There are many challenges facing the health and care system, but how often do we think about the very specific things we can do now to make a difference?

My Home Life England has immersed itself within the care sector for 18 years and is consequently in a unique position to support services to deliver high quality care.

We work proactively in partnership with the care sector to deliver:

1. Care leader development and support

Managers and leaders of care services play a pivotal role in creating stable, high quality care. First and foremost, these leaders need professional support and development to effect the real changes the system requires.

Care leaders participating in our My Home Life England programmes develop their leadership skills, along with their resilience, professional confidence, and enthusiasm for working in the sector. This improves the culture of care, and culture of engagement and trust. This has led to greater workforce retention and a positive impact at system level, including a reduction in unplanned hospital admissions and quicker discharges.

See our latest programme evaluation


2. Strengthening of partnerships between care services and the wider system

The interdependency between the NHS and the social care sector cannot be underestimated in solving the problems faced.

My Home Life England has identified examples of where wider agencies are working effectively with care services, and where trust and support has been well developed. This promotes a positive culture within care services, and helps leaders to feel more connected, less isolated, and more able to deliver quality care.

We are working across a number of local authority areas to broker dialogue between care leaders and wider system leaders (including commissioners, safeguarding teams and others). This has had significant impact on the culture of partnership; creating an openness to work together and to support one another and ultimately those that they care for.

3. Wrap around care from the system

Pressures on the system have led to a reduction in the amount of support that care services are getting from health practitioners in the community. This is at odds with the emphasis on providing greater support through the Enhanced Health in Care Homes (EHCH) framework. Where it works, care services have an open dialogue with local GPs, finding solutions that support both sides.

Our programmes help care leaders to act an advocates, influence upwards and open up dialogue with primary care, so that they can work differently together to deliver positive outcomes on both sides. My Home Life England has also supported care homes to better understand what they should be expecting from their local GP practice, as described in the EHCH framework.

4. Strengthened relationships with local communities

At a time when resources are so limited, care services need to bring in others to support them to deliver quality of life. Strengthening their relationship with their local communities enables service users to connect to the people, passions and places that bring light to life. As well as increasing wellbeing, this additional community input creates cultures of confidence, ultimately strengthening the care setting’s capacity to support wider system issues.

My Home Life England has a strong track record of supporting stronger relationships between communities and care services. This includes leading England’s largest intergenerational programme with care homes, which had significant outcomes for both older people and schoolchildren. We have lots of ideas and resources to support care services in making community connections happen.

More about community connections


5. Enabling the care sector to realise its potential

The agenda for quality sometimes feels like it is ascribed by others. As a consequence, care services can be at risk of being passive, rather than active, in spearheading innovation.

Care leaders have a unique viewpoint on what works well and what needs to be better. They see the challenges in the system and can play a leading role in ensuring that we are continually responding to what people want and need.

My Home Life England is part of this journey. We are currently working with established care leaders in North London, helping them to have a stronger voice in the integrated system. We are also working in greater partnership with some care associations to take this agenda forward.


Times of crisis can also be times of opportunity. We are at the beginning of a transformation of the care sector. How care services develop depends on how those around them support their ambitions to grasp the quality agenda, and work with them as equal partners to resolve the crisis we’re experiencing.

My Home Life England continues to actively facilitate these developments across the country, by empowering care leaders, improving care experiences and creating sustainable care systems.

We welcome a conversation with you to see how we can help. Watch our new animation to find out more.

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