'Three Conversations’ in Windsor and Maidenhead Council

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead began using the ‘Three Conversations’ model in the autumn of 2016 and have called their approach ‘Each Step Together’. The three Conversations replaces the default ‘contact, divert, triage, reablement, assessment for services’ process with a dynamic asset based approach to listening to people aimed at supporting independent lives, and reducing the need for dependence on formal services.

Here are the headlines from key people in this Council.

Angela Morris, Deputy Director of Adult Social Care:

"Using the three conversations model has resulted in a real step change for our service. It has been refreshing to work on something that has real time, tangible benefits for local residents and their families. In addition it has given us confidence through linking with other councils who have adopted this model to question and challenge the over engineered national process for completing assessments, and put in place a simple responsive and safe model. "

Jeanette – Manager (Short term support team)

"I’ve found working in this new way really liberating as a manager. The ‘three Conversations’ model has allowed us to do away with the enormous amount of bureaucracy that we used to have to deal with. It’s really rewarding as a manager to allow staff to ‘let go’ and give them the permission to work differently. This new approach has energised the whole team. People feel like they’re doing good work – the work they trained to do, and want to do."

Hari – [Management Information Officer]

"I work on the ‘data’ side of things, and what I’ve really noticed about working using the ‘Three Conversations’ model is that we are having much more contact with the person - speedily and proactively - whereas before we would have put them on an allocation list. This new way of working means that we are dealing with requests and helping people within 24 hours and are able to offer immediate intensive help to those in crisis who need short term help to improve their situation. There is no doubt that working in this new way is better for the individuals we are trying to help, and that the speed and response rate are incomparable to the ‘old’ way of working."

Olga – [Service Manager]

"I manage a team of social workers and the main difference that we have found is the drastic decrease in paperwork and bureaucracy. Our assessment form used to be 40 pages long (!), and moving to the ‘Three Conversations’ model has liberated us from that, so we have seen a huge decrease in staff time spent sitting at a computer. We are able to get through cases much faster and we are able to work with our community and be more creative, which is what, as professionals, we’ve always wanted to do."

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About Sam Newman

Sam Newman is an experienced health and social care professional who caught the personalisation bug and has, for the past 7 years, provided change management support to more than 75 councils in the UK through OLM's specialist transformation division Partners for Change (P4C).

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