Learn, Do Not Copy!

Importance of embracing and inspiring change within adult care services

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

NOTE: Although this page has been marked as complete, it has not yet been peer-reviewed or quality-assured, therefore it should be considered a ‘first draft’ and any information should be fact-checked independently.

There is a saying that ‘the only constant is change‘ and this is particularly true within the health and social care sector. Changes happen all the time and it is important that your attitude and behaviour embraces it, rather than resists it and that you are able to inspire others into doing the same. As we examined in the section about entrepreneurial theories, new and innovative ways of working are dependent on change for them to happen.

For this assessment criterion, you will be required to consider both imposed and self-created change relevant to your area of service and critically evaluate the impact of changes. Imposed changes are those that we do not have any control over, such as legislation and regulation. Self-created changes are those that we initiate ourselves to improve our services.

Change can often make people anxious and uncomfortable – for example, it could threaten an individual’s position within the organisation or create more work for them that they do not think they have the time for. This can lead to resistance to change. As a leader, it is important that you are able to recognise these fears in others and discuss the reasons for the change as well as reassure them, where possible.

Legislation

Health and social care are governed by legislation and changes to legislation may require us to adjust the way we work. These changes are usually imposed, which means we do not have any choice about whether we comply or not, even if we do not fully understand the reasons for the changes.

Regulatory/inspection requirements

Following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), your organisation may be told that they need to make changes to adhere to regulations. They may also make recommendations about how you make your service even better.

Revenue/funding and staffing/workforce

Cuts in revenues and funding can lead to changes in the way that your organisation operates and may even lead to redundancies. This can create fear and anxiety within the workforce so it is important to be honest with team members about what is happening and sensitive to their concerns. Although redundancies are not pleasant, they may be necessary to ensure the future of the organisation.

Managerial strategy and operational objectives

To achieve the organisation’s objectives, managers may need to make changes to the way that team members work. This can include changes to systems, policies and procedures.

Service/business ownership and mergers

When there are changes in an organisation’s ownership, including acquisitions and mergers, it can lead to uncertainty for all employees. They may worry that the new owner’s values will no longer align with their own or that they will be surplus to requirements.

Summary

As we have seen, change can often lead to fear, uncertainty and doubt, which can further lead to low staff morale and the changes being ignored or resisted. Therefore, it is important for leaders to manage change effectively.