Last week, my colleague Andy from ecdp and me gave a talk at an Adult Social Care Workforce conference. The topic was on embedding peer support in the workforce, the slides for which are below.
There were 4 key points we wanted to convey:
- Where services are developed and delivered by peers (i.e. disabled people / service users), the evidence suggests that these produce better outcomes for service users, and are more efficient than if provided by a local authority
- Peer-led services are not only good in their own right, but they provide employment pathways for service users: the Personal Budget holders of today can be the peer advisers of tomorrow
- Peer-led services can’t replace local authority-led or any other provider-led services: scale makes this impossible. However, they should be a part of the overall provider mix
- Peer-led approaches aren’t just good at the level of supporting an individual to control their care and support: they also work at the level of the community, ensuring information and experience is shared quickly and appropriately, and at the collective level, enabling disabled people’s user-led organisations to understand how well the provider market is meeting service user demand and conveying this intelligence to commissioners.
My good Twitter friend @kmachin highlighted some other research and work going on around peer support – there is certainly a growing evidence base. I’ll post updates / comments on this post to share this info when I have it.