Working with See the Person, Doing Care Differently

The Beginning

SYHA is committed to finding and delivering solutions to complex health and social care problems. We strongly believe that those problems cannot be solved without hearing and involving those who receive public services. Homecare is an area of health and social care that is particularly challenging for everyone involved. SYHA bravely decided to enter the homecare market, not just with a view to establishing a commercial business but with the intention to contribute to tackling a complex nationwide health and social care problem that affects directly or indirectly most of our community. SYHA wants to challenge the current model and culture around the commissioning and delivering of domiciliary care for older people.


The self-funded pilot aims to set up and lead a new SYHA Home Care Service to test and learn from radically kind approaches to home care.  We want to learn and evidence what works so we can expand and share this approach. We want to deliver a high quality service that improves the lives of customers and employees and trail blaze an approach that shows that putting people first saves the health and social care system money.  We want to embrace creativity, technology, local communities and volunteers to support a lithe, flexible and smart approach to delivery that will demonstrate that things can be done sustainably whilst still keeping kindness paramount. Our vision is to deliver an ethical, innovative and sustainable service that continues well beyond the 12 month pilot.


The Middle

The Co:Create and Enterprise Team worked together to speak to the local community and potential staff and customers about what kindness in homecare meant to them. We hosted a ‘Kindness Christmas Tree’ event in Stocksbridge and asked people to hang on the tree how we can bring kindness to homecare. We also hosted a fun and food event at a local sheltered housing scheme in Stocksbridge to gather views.


This is what the people of Stocksbridge said:

“I think the most important thing is to tackle isolation.” 
“I want my Mum to have contact with the outside world.” 
“More flexibility from carers to get calls and come out when needed.” 
“More time!” 
“For my loved one to be looked after and respected as well as someone would look after their own family member.” 

We asked where older people feel that we should invest in care and the top three things they said were: 

1.      More support for their family 

2.      More investment in the staff 

3.      Longer appointments 

We have also spoken to people who have received and delivered care about their experiences: 

“I was sent some carers after a stay in hospital but they talked to me like I was a child so I sent them home. A service like this one which sees you as a person, not simply as an old person who can’t do certain things, is desperately needed.”
Ann, 76. Sheffield. 

We have been keen to support all the stakeholders that are challenged in this sector so we have also engaged with local commissioners. We hosted an evaluation workshop to discuss what are the key challenges and opportunities in commissioning, designing and delivering homecare differently.

The key themes that came out of this workshop were the commissioners wanting a service that felt ‘human’ to everyone involved from staff to clients. They felt that the service needed to be affordable for everyone, joined up with local health and social care teams and local partners, flexible and replicable.


The End/Next Steps

Launching in July 2018, ‘See the Person’ homecare service aims to prove that a service that invests in staff, kindness and time with customers and those that care and support them can deliver an impeccable service which can ultimately save the local health and social care system money.

See the Person will deliver a service inspired by the world renowned Buurtzorg Model which was founded by Jos de Blok. Jos was a district nurse who set out to transform district nursing in the Netherlands. You can see this brought to life on our website here

SYHA has recruited Registered Manager Chris Tanner because he is someone whose values and vision reflects the vision of this project. “I started in the sector with a small private homecare provider that had a wonderful ethos of going the extra mile for our clients and staff, and saw first-hand the difference that makes to everybody’s wellbeing.” 

“I have also worked for larger corporate providers and have seen the consequences of commodifying care. There’s also the fact that everybody seemed to be “doing care” in the same way – the same structures, same processes, same approaches – only with less resources. This inevitably leads to cost-cutting measures that are only detrimental to the quality of care being delivered, and in turn, the quality-of-life for clients, their carers and staff.”

“I am positive that See the Person will demonstrate that high-quality care, delivered by well-trained and supported teams embedded in local communities will make a real difference to people’s lives, and that before long it will re-shape the homecare sector in the UK.”

Emma Ward