February 14, 2019

For me innovation is all about improving an existing product, process or service. As a consequence, I often look at solutions and principles outside of health and care to challenge the status quo within.

Ever curious in the last few days I’ve learnt 2019 is International year of the Periodic Table - 150 years ago Dmitri Mendeleev is credited with laying the foundations for the Table. Apparently, what made his approach visionary was the boxes he left empty for elements yet to be discovered which confirmed its power as a predictive tool rather than just a catalogue and aligning elements in columns and rows. By the beginning of the 20th century Mendeleev’s Table had been turned 90 degrees to become todays recognised format.

The ‘Ethical Dairy’, also struck a chord last week. Standard practice means removing calves from their mothers within 24 hours of birth and hand rearing so we can have the milk meant for them. A couple turned this practice 180 degrees by keeping calves with their mothers to suckle for 6 months. A decision considered commercial suicide by the industry. The outcome, costly failure. In 2016 they tried again, two years on evidence shows a 90% reduction in antibiotic use, a 5-fold increase in biodiversity, healthier happier cows, increasing consumer demand and profit in 2019. It’s a ‘dairy revolution’ that is forcing a radical rethink of the industrial norms.

No doubt you’re wondering what’s this got to do with health and care? Well in the same time period, the Universal Personalised Care document was published.

At document that at last brings together the findings of endless initiatives; values lived experience, uses language that has greater common meaning for people, health and social care workers and clearly lays the foundations for wider public service integration around people but, its neither visionary nor revolutionary.

The degree of turn simply isn’t enough. In some instances, such as link workers it’s still about meeting demand through existing, expensive ways of working and in part bygone practises - it’s also based on ’bolt on and bulk up,’ rather than doing things differently. With regard to Personal Health Budgets (PHB’s) of course it’s a step in the right direction. But, one universal, personal, integrated budget across health, social care, education etc, accessed via one simple transparent system must be the aim, otherwise another ‘administrative beast’ will emerge in which people continue to be done unto.

For the Integrated Personalised Care agenda to be a ‘game changer’, the person as the common denominator and ‘best integrator of their care’ must truly be at the centre of process and system design, build and ongoing development. A shift from paternalism to empowered people that have ownership of risk has to be seen as part of the caring role. Individual direct payment spend has to be visible as a means of providing safeguards, financial transparency and control and market management.

Without a demonstrable, fundamental alternative, that enables the approach to be rolled out at scale, the Integrated Personalised Care agenda is an easy target for individuals and cohorts resistant to change and empowering the person to ensure it become yet another initiative condemned to the ‘Well we tried ….’ heap.

Younifi is the key to unlock that greater innovation, that demonstrable, fundamental alternative. Its revolutionary approach has been built from the ground upwards. It’s ready to help embed personalised care and build the future as James Sanderson says ‘many (of us) have long been advocating for. See if you agree. Give us a call so we can arrange to demonstrate how Younifi can address the challenges associated with Integrated Personalised Care and much more: