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Value of using assets and resources outside traditional services and in the community

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

When planning resource management, carrying out forecasts and setting budgets, you may find additional value by evaluating the use of assets and resources outside traditional services and in the community.

These resources may complement your own existing services and improve the well-being of the individuals that your organisation care for. Or they may provide better value-for-money than your organisation’s own in-house services and it may make financial sense to discontinue your own service and outsource it to others.

Of course, these resources must be costed and the benefits weighed up before any final decision is made. This may involve working in partnership with other organisations and collecting information about the value provided by their services. This information can then be used to inform whether resources should be allocated in this area.

Some examples of assets and resources outside of traditional services are included below.

Volunteers and voluntary services

The voluntary and charity sectors play important roles in providing services within the community. As stated in the NHS’s Five-Year Forward View ‘these voluntary organisations often have an impact well beyond what statutory services alone can achieve’.

For example, there may be volunteer organisations in your local area that provide support groups for people going through similar situations or coffee mornings for people with similar interests. These activities can make individuals feel less isolated, which can help to prevent or reduce the impact of mental health conditions. There are volunteer organisations that run shops or cafes in hospitals as well as charities, such as MENCAP and Age UK, that can provide free and specialist advice.

The Royal Voluntary Service provides service which include providing lifts to hospital appointments, delivering food packages and simply chatting to thos that may not have anyone else to talk to.

By being aware of voluntary services, especially those in your local area, you can create better outcomes for the individuals that your organisation cares for whilst managing resources effectively.

Alternative non-traditional treatments

Alternative, non-traditional treatments can also play a part in improving the wellbeing of individuals recieving care services.

For example, music therapy can help individuals to relax and express themselves as well as support thise with conditions that affect their memory to recall and reminisce. Or footcare specialists can be used to keep an individual’s nails trimmed and feet in a healthy condition, which can help prevent foot-related diseases as well as provide social interaction and relaxation.

Other activities such as meditation, massage and yoga can also support good physical and mental health as well as providing opportunities for social interaction. By taking a holistic approach to an individual’s health and wellbeing, which can include alternative and non-traditional treatments, individuals can have a better quality of life and resources can be used in a proactive manner to reduce deterioration or relapse.

Community and educational resources

Community resources have already been touched upon in the voluntary services section above with coffee mornings and support groups being mentioned, however other services can include silent discos for individuals with autism (music is broadcast through headphones rather than a speaker system so that the individual can control their auditory stimuli) or independent advocacy.

Educational resources, such as cooking classes, independent living skills and arts and crafts may be available in your local community or local college. Utilising such services can support your aims to help the individual’s that you support become more independent.

Using alternative resources

When you have established the alternative services that are avaiable in your area, you will need to decide if they will be suitable for your resource management plan. Of course, cost-effectiveness will be a factor, however you should also investigate if these services will help to provide positive outcomes for the individuals that will be using them and if there are any alternatives that may be better options. By doing this, you will be able to justify and be accountable for the decisions that you make.