Manchester City Council

The Blank Mind

I said I would say a bit more about last week's Wigan Deal training session. The Wigan Deal is an approach Wigan Council have been developing over the last couple of years, recognising that if they are to survive the cuts, they need a very different approach, in this case to Adult Care service delivery. So far, not only are they managing the cuts, they are also getting increased staff and service satisfaction through an Asset Based Approach.

The basic principles are relatively simple. Instead of adult care being seen as a fixed set of interventions related to a very narrow assessment of problems, they try to take a holistic view of service recipients, looking as much at what they have to offer as at their needs. The training uses lessons from Ethnography to help staff to take a broad, open and observed evidence based approach to the work including assessment, and it has been supported by a complete rejigging of how they support local community organisations to be genuine community assets.

Their description of what they are trying to achieve is not much different to what we would say about Manchester. Indeed we have a number of really interesting initiatives on similar lines. What Wigan appear to have done is to build a far more comprehensive approach, and as a result to have made far more progress than we have. It's a real opportunity for us to learn from them and we will be looking how we can use this learning to develop a new approach in Manchester to working with citizens, communities and businesses.

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The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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