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Making Time for Time

Making Time for Time

How do we make time?

The short answer is we can’t. We can only use it.

But I think there are a couple of things that can help.

We can make better decisions on how we use it, and we can be sensitive to the fact that time moves differently for each of us.

Now, I am no time-management guru, so I’ll leave that topic for others.

But I saw the news headline last week about people who need NHS funded care and support and who are often affected not just by cuts in funding, but by delays in decision-making - Families of disabled people tell BBC of battle for NHS care support - BBC News

I also remember one of our equipment suppliers telling me that they had worked much harder to reduce their production times for personalised equipment needed for young children, when they were confronted with the reality of reduced life expectancy.

Medequip takes pride in meeting key performance indicators for meeting the delivery speeds for community equipment. We know that delivering equipment quickly can make a difference to when someone is discharged from hospital, or prevented from being admitted in the first place.

But, in response to feedback from people who use equipment, we are also looking at convenience, as well as speed. If you need someone to help you receive a delivery, or you need to avoid a clash with other care tasks, the option to choose a time may be more important to you.

One of my team recently attended a Social Care Future gathering looking at the “plumbing and wiring” of social care that makes it harder to achieve the Social Care Future vision. A lot of Local Authority staff reported that time pressures and a lack of capacity mean they find it difficult to cope with all they are expected to do.

I can tell you, people working in voluntary and private sector organisations are feeling the same way.

But waving our pressures and deadlines at each other is not a good look.

Instead, I suggest we consider how time is moving from the point of view of people who draw on care and their families.

Whether that means a community equipment provider considering convenience as well as speed. A funding panel looking at how it makes decisions, or a procurement team shortening a process to get a new service in place.

Sometimes we hear organisations and systems can only move at the speed of trust. Maybe from one perspective that is true. But when you next get the chance, don’t just ask someone for the time, ask them about their time.

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