The Balance of Care Group


Balance of Care Workshops

The Balance of Care Group offer a variety of workshop packages which can be undertaken as stand-alone events or as an integral component of a tailored consultancy package.

All sessions are presented by experienced practitioners in the field and will highlight the very practical aspects of developing meaningful and sustainable local partnerships.

A whole systems approach to integrated care for older people - quantifying local resource and organisational implications

This workshop can be organised as a half-day or full-day workshop. With a whole day more time is spent analysing local issues and undertaking some basic local data analysis in advance of the workshop.

Workshop aim and objectives

Most health and social care communities have some sense of the general philosophy and direction that they would like services for older people to develop locally. However, it is often difficult to take those aims and to quantify the resource implications of meeting them and develop an appropriate implementation strategy for delivering them.

This workshop, illustrated with reference to case studies, describes steps which can be undertaken locally to enable aspirations about integrated care to be realised in practical, sustainable ways, while still remaining driven by the requirements of older people.  Its content includes:


Balance of Care Application Workshop

This workshop programme runs for a total of four days over a period of 6-8 weeks.

Workshop aim and objectives

This is a participative, workshop programme designed to enable local questions and issues to be addressed such as:

During their time on the programme participants from relevant local organisations will have the opportunity to:

Structure of the Workshop Programme

The Balance of Care workshop programme usually comprises four workshop days run in three phases over a period of several weeks (this timetable is tailored to suit local circumstances and requirements). These phases are:

  1. An introductory workshop day to explain the Balance of Care approach, and focus on preparatory work around setting out local planning and resource issues and identifying data requirements and sources.

  2. Some weeks later, an intensive two-day workshop where issues and plans are discussed and their potential implications for local resources are modelled.

  3. A further, one-day workshop to follow this up some weeks later and which revisits particular aspects that have emerged from the project as a whole and sets out a local action plan for taking the results forward.

Phase I: Introduction and Preparation Workshop

The object of this day is to introduce the concepts of the Balance of Care approach locally and indicate how it might be applied – and to what potential effect. As well as workshop participants part of the day is also opened to a wider audience who will not necessarily be taking part in the subsequent workshop sessions. A wide range of people are encouraged to attend who have an interest in service planning, delivery and quality for older people, including user and carer groups.

This is followed later the same day by a session involving those people who will have already been identified as the ‘core group’ of workshop participants and expected to be attending the subsequent workshop phases. This session commences a more detailed discussion of the planning issues which participants wish to tackle, and identify data requirements and their potential sources. Participants will be tasked with obtaining as much of these data as possible in advance of the second phase of the programme.

Phase II: Intensive Planning Workshop

This phase of the programme is its crux and occupies two full days (in succession or within a week of each other). It is designed to involve everyone closely in the planning process and the development of future service strategies. This means working in facilitated groups within the workshop using the Balance of Care approach and system as a working tool to help articulate and quantify deliberations. The basic structure of this two-day workshop includes:

Phase III: The Follow-up workshop

Following the phase II workshop, this final session is tailored to meet local requirements. It includes a review of the project to date, offers the opportunity for further scenario modelling, and the establishment of an action plan for taking the workshop outcomes forward.

Who should attend the workshop programme?

The programme is particularly productive where there is broad representation of the key organisations and care professionals involved in service provision and delivery. This will include representatives from PCTs, social services and acute Trusts, but can also include other locally relevant organisations; for example, from the independent and voluntary sectors; user and carer groups; or other local government departments such as housing. It is useful to have a group which encompasses a broad mix of care professional and managerial and operational backgrounds.

Experience suggests a minimum of 15 - 20 is required in order to have sufficient representation from the major agencies and professions involved in any one locality. The maximum figure is more open, depending on particular local interests, but ideally should not exceed about 30 to prevent the workshop process becoming too unwieldy.