Kim Curry – Compassion, care and reconstruction

Now published in the Municipal Journal, Kim Curry with Benjamin Taylor

Kim Curry is a former Executive Director and DASS, experienced interim and retained Visiting Professor at Falmouth University.

Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been much debate, and many intelligent articles written, about the need to properly fund social care. There has been a similar amount of discussion on ensuring parity for social care and the need to reform social care, among many other things.

As the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) said, social care is not ‘a problem that needs fixing’ – but there is an opportunity to reset and reimagine using COVID-19 as the catalyst.

The presenting narrative about adult social care cannot be argued with or denied; it’s not even new, it has simply been ignored. If adult social care is finally to achieve the recognition and transformation that it deserves, and that staff at all levels have been campaigning for over many years, we must seriously consider the need for staff to come to terms with what they have seen, what they have heard, and how they feel about their recent experiences.

Continues at the MJ:


The power+systems model in action: Bristol City Council

Public sector consultancy and PSTA delivery partner RedQuadrant shares a case study in service transformation

You may know Barry Oshry’s power+systems insight into organisations – the way tops, middles and bottoms predictably behave?

The tops hold a lot of the responsibility in organisations and make the strategic decisions, but they don’t necessarily know what is happening on the ground; here, the bottoms are trying to do their job but have decisions and orders passed down to them. Meanwhile, the middles are juggling the wishes of the bottoms whilst attempting to please the tops above them with good results.

I saw this theory coming to life in our work at Bristol City Council. For four months, we worked with 60 senior practitioners – working on the front line (though often managing others), the so-called bottoms. Then, on review day, we brought the bottoms, middles and tops together in one room for a whole day. When we initially started working with this group, a lot of them felt overworked, unsupported, powerless – very typical experiences of the space. The group that was now sitting in the room was completely different. They felt empowered, united and optimistic about the future. This came about through our development work with them, through a real commitment of their managers, and from just bringing them together as a team.

The last piece of the puzzle was creating a conversation between the different levels – a ‘time out of time’. By letting the team listen to each other’s feelings – not stories or examples, but real experiences – we created an understanding of how it felt to work at each level, what problems they were handling, and how that made them feel. We created a safe environment where people could talk honestly, and people were in a position not to judge but to listen. This resulted in a room full of neither tops, bottoms or middles, but instead a room full of people who were all working together to make Bristol a better place.

If you would like to discuss the above project or any similar opportunities, then please contact Hedwig de Jong at


Disability services: Metropolitan Borough of Dudley Council (2016-present)

Public sector consultancy and PSTA delivery partner RedQuadrant shares a case study in service transformation

We carried out an opportunity assessment across Dudley council’s adult social care directorate annual spend (£110 million) with the aim of identifying potential efficiencies.

We prioritised areas of spend identified through a resources diagnostic and a cultural audit with staff. We developed eight business cases including a greater focus on outcomes within the assessment process and reviews of care packages, revised approach to NHS continuing healthcare and section 117s and investment in targeted prevention services. We ran a series of eight cultural workshops in different localities with staff across the Dudley region and identified current values, beliefs and behaviours and the priority areas to work on. By engaging teams, we were able to recommend a series of workforce development interventions that were designed to improve skills and kick start cultural change.

We are currently project managing the implementation of an all-age disability service for Dudley as well as developing strategies in relation to autism, physical disabilities and employment for people with disabilities. We are also supporting the council in the implementation of the local Multi-Speciality Community Provider programme.

We provided a clear plan to achieve a balanced adult social care budget 2017-20 based on business plans for securing annualised savings of £5 million (which is currently being delivered ahead of schedule with a projected underspend in 2017/18)


#218, #224, #agile, #disability-service, #performance-management, #social-care, #transformation