“The focus is on developing an environment characterised by trust, partnership and collaboration.”

NISCC has an important role in helping to maintain positive relationships through our approach to systems leadership.

We will work with Government, DoH Office of Social Services and others across organisational boundaries, and with people who use services and with carers, on the basis of a shared ambition, working together towards solutions. We commit to developing these leadership characteristics in our work, brokering new knowledge, ideas and relationships across the care system in Northern Ireland.

We are uniquely placed to work across the whole system in building, energising and strengthening a collaborative environment that will drive positive change.

In developing this plan we have engaged with a broad range of stakeholders to help us identify NISCC priorities and align them with the key drivers for social care in the coming years.

We used their feedback to model scenarios to shape our strategic direction within a changing environment.

Our Corporate and Business Plans have been developed using an outcomes based approach ensuring we can clearly demonstrate the benefits of regulation and standards for the social care workforce and underpin the contribution of social care to improving and safeguarding the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities.

The context for the NISCC Corporate Plan is framed by the challenge for change and transformation in health and social care in Northern Ireland. This challenge is highlighted in key documents published in October 2016 by the Minister for Health and the expert panel Chaired by Professor Rafael Bengoa – Health and Wellbeing 2026: Delivering Together and Systems, Not Structures: Changing Health and Social Care. The plan has also been developed within the context of the Northern Ireland Executive Draft Programme for Government (Consultation Document published in October 2016).

Core to the Minister’s vision is a new model of care which is co-produced and person-centred and focused on prevention, early intervention, supporting independence and wellbeing.

NISCC has adopted the principles of Co-production with those who use services which has enabled new and innovative ways of working to support transformation. The focus is on developing an environment characterised by trust, partnership and collaboration.

The Minister’s vision looks to link social care more strongly with improving and safeguarding the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities and supports the implementation of the social work strategy Improving and Safeguarding Social Wellbeing. It supports the roll out of Quality 2020 Attributes Framework, the Review of Adult Social Care and the realignment and growth in community development resources, building a community asset based approach to health and social care.

The report from the expert panel chaired by Professor rafael Bengoa states that in order to transform services fundamentally a modern health and social care workforce that can work collaboratively to meet the needs of the population will be required.

When the regulation and registration of the social care workforce is completed in April 2017 it will be the largest regulated workforce within the HSC with 35,000 people working for over 500 employers across the statutory and independent sectors. Reconfiguring the health and social care system will depend on the ability of the system to reshape this workforce to support new models of care.

The Northern Ireland Executive published for consultation in October 2016 a draft Programme for Government (PfG) designed to deliver improved wellbeing for the people of Northern Ireland. Within PfG is a strong emphasis on economic activity and employment – with more people working in better jobs; improved qualification levels – with a recognition that skills underpin many of the societal changes to which PfG aspires. The transformation of health and social care will require growth in the social care workforce to meet increasing demand.

Having the right people, in the right place, at the right time requires a workforce which is safe, effective and agile in its responsiveness to changing service user needs. The skills and capacity of the social care workforce is integral to successful transformation.

The social care sector supports the economic and social fabric of Northern Ireland. A recent study undertaken by Ulster University Economic Policy Centre on behalf of NISCC, NIAMH, Cedar Foundation and Bryson Care, found that the Adult Social Care Sector supports employment for over 100,000 people in Northern Ireland and contributes £821m in Gross Value Added (GVA). Social care is one of the most geographically diverse sectors. It provides access to employment, education and training for those that may otherwise not have had the opportunity or support.

Employment in social care which is generated within communities contributes to the local economy, and supports community cohesion.

The reform of professional regulation in health and social care remains a key consideration in the UK. Northern Ireland will be the first country in the UK to have completed the regulation and registration of the social care workforce and is well placed to lead conversations on the role of regulation in quality assurance and quality improvement. These conversations will focus on the development of a robust, responsive and agile system of workforce regulation that will protect the public and support the workforce to respond effectively to changing needs and new ways of working.

Workforce regulation is an enabler in the process of transformation, a valuable partner in supporting quality improvement.

Social Care in Northern Ireland 2025

Explore a plausible future for social care in Northern Ireland in 2025, a collaborative future to work towards