Matthew’s Book


‘Matthew’s Book’ is a small project but it has generated a big response. The book is on an iPad. It provides a multi-media guide to Matthew and his needs. The book will follow Matthew wherever he goes, including hospital, to ensure that all staff working with him can quickly find out about the essential aspects of his care .. and what good practice means for him. Continue reading


Giving more in a sharing economy


People’s surplus time is something we can make much more of, particularly with regard to the needs of older people who are isolated or who feel vulnerable. To capitalise on this resource we have to tackle those obstacles that reduce people’s propensity to offer their surplus time. The solutions may be many but include technologies that allow people to identify where their surplus time, however marginal, can be used to good effect, achieving a better connectedness between formal care, informal family care and other community support, enabling organisations and groups to increase mutual support within existing structures, changing the perception of what older people have to offer, and supporting people to create their own systems of informal support. For each of these proposals there is a practical agenda. Continue reading

Why don’t people speak up?

Watching Dispatches on Channel 4 about the failings of surgeon Ian Paterson, we have to ask again why more people didn’t speak up about something that plainly was going wrong. There must have been many people involved in his operations and their aftermath. Clearly, intimidation is an issue and fear of reprisals. Also, there is the way in which a man with such authority, power and self-confidence can make others doubt their own judgement. We’ve proposed on this site that the web app Care Comments could help. Through Care Comments people submit their observations in a low-risk way to service commissioners. In the Paterson case we might suppose that observations would have been submitted from .. fellow surgeons, theatre colleagues, ward staff, referring GPs, Macmillan nurses etc. With such a volume of data that cross references and triangulates to confirm a problem, the imperative to take action is strong. It’s not the only solution, but it is worth consideration.

Can computers help people to make decisions?

Decision making software helps in many areas of life both professional and personal. But it hasn’t infiltrated into the world of social care. That’s strange when the kinds of decisions people are being asked to make about how to use their personal budgets are complex, far-reaching and difficult. Read more on the IdeaShare page, and if you’re interested, leave a comment.

ootiinoo .. getting the most from community groups



  • in a church congregation the person who sits in the front pew gets to find out that the couple in the back pew could benefit from his knowledge of pensions and annuities
  • in a local authority the person who works in the Housing Office discovers that the person who’s a clerk in Trading Standards can sit in one evening a week with his elderly mother
  • in a street the person in number 9 finds out that the family in number 38 would love to look after her dog when she goes away
  • in a football supporters club the person who sits in the South Stand discovers that the person who sits 4 rows behind him also has a disabled son who enjoys rock music
  • in a patients support group the newly diagnosed person can ask for advice from others who have more experience of the condition.

All of these begin with a existing affiliation to or identification with a group or organisation or community and lead to the discovery among the ‘members’ that they have more to offer each other than they could otherwise have known. This is the idea of ootiino.

For more information click here.

Conversation is central to our lives

Think about what our lives would be without conversation. It is central to almost everything we do socially. Yet many people who rely on services have few, if any, conversations. This may have something to do with a speech or cognitive impairment or it may be associated with a memory problem. This is not to say that people aren’t spoken to or that they don’t themselves make every effort to communicate. But their experience is all too often superficial .. and all too often people who can’t readily engage in conversation are passed by or patronised. There are many communication apps but for some people these are difficult to use. We need to find ways to use technologies to support everyone to enter into rich conversations with others. We’re beginning to experiment with the iPad and a bit of software called iBooks Author. More on this here.

Care Comments

We’ve been working with health and social care colleagues in Hull on a new approach to enabling front-line workers to register what they observe in care services. The result is a proposed web application called Care Comments. This is a new approach to checking what is happening in services that have been commissioned by local authorities and clinical commissioning groups. We think that it provides an effective method to monitor service quality and limit risks to people who use services. It addresses a current weakness of regulation and inspection: that regulators and inspectors can face difficulties in capturing an ‘inside view’ of what is happening in services. Care Comments is most easily explained in this short video: . Read more here.