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Broken commissioning

I had a really good meeting with Claire Hill, CEO of Totnes Caring, prompted by a piece I'd written on the broken third sector commissioning process.

There is so much more to Totnes Caring than I'd realised.

They offer volunteer transport to medical appointments but also a whole range of other services including a dementia cafe (hugely oversubscribed), support for carers, a home help service and home shopping service.

Most of these are things you would expect statutory services to run, but they don't. Instead these services are commissioned from organisations like Totnes Caring by Devon County Council and the Primary Care Network.

The problem is that commissioning is short-term, and decisions are regularly delayed or postponed - meaning that it's impossible to recruit and retain staff, there is no job security, and CEOs like Claire can't plan, develop and grow their services.

It's not a sexy thing to discuss, it'll never make headlines. But when your parents are dealing with dementia and need support, Totnes Caring is exactly the kind of organisation your family will need.

We can do so much better - we have to do better.


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