Welcome back to conference season! Autumn 2022

Events & Exhibitions

Autumn has arrived! After a notable absence in these past few years due to the pandemic, we are delighted the industry conferences are awakening again. We are exhibiting at three key exhibitions in the latter part of 2022 and attending several more.  Scroll to the bottom to learn more. 

At the time of writing, our first significant exhibition is with the Carers Trust Partners Network Conference: Reconnecting – Nationally and Locally taking place on the 21-22nd Sept in Nottingham. It’s the first big event in the carers calendar since 2019. We are looking forward to meeting old and new faces, promoting the Stars, the Star Online and the Star materials, as well as hearing about the radical changes in the unpaid carers landscape from the experts. We’ve also worked alongside Carers Trust to explore what could be learnt from Star data across several Carers Trust network partners and created a new Exploring Carers Star Data case study to inspire services supporting carers. Also available on the Carers Star webpage.

The next major event in our calendar is billed as the leading health & social care conference in Northern Ireland, taking place in Belfast on 19-20th October. The Northern Ireland Annual Conference & Exhibition 2022 (NICON22). This is Ireland’s first large conference for the Health & Social care sector since 2019. It will also be our first big exhibition for our new(ish) Scottish and Irish Outcomes Star teams to showcase our growing suite of almost 50 Stars. We’ll be promoting the value of the Outcomes Stars and highlighting the essential insight your service can gain from Star data, to support the people you serve, your workers and your service. We also will be exhibiting and networking with our colleagues across the private, voluntary and community sectors, and looking forward to hearing from the vast array of speakers. Read more about the team attending: Patrick Toland (Ireland), Jim Borland (Scotland) and Eileen Cassidy (Scotland & Ireland). Visit us at booth 8. 

The last major exhibition we will be exhibiting at in 2022 will be The National Children’s and Adults Services Conference in Manchester from 2-4th November. The event is aimed at all those working with children, young people, their families and vulnerable adults, including in health, social care and education. We are attending this event to promote the updated Family Star Plus, launching in Spring 2023 following the end of a significant 18-month review process. We will be providing information about the changes to the Family Star Plus, and we are keen to record reactions to the new Star to help us spread the word. For more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with info@triangleconsulting.co.uk

Lastly, we are also attending the following events. 

  • 8-9th Sept: Go-Lab: Social Outcomes Conference 2022, Oxford – see blog
  • 22nd Sept: CAMHS National Summit 2022: Transforming Mental Health Services for Children & Young Adults, online
  • 3rd Oct: Learning from our practice 2018–2022 with Lloyds Foundation, London
  • 11-12th Oct: COMMUNITY CARE LIVE 2022
  • 21st Oct: #SheMatters Criminal Justice Conference, Kent
  • 11th Nov: Access to Justice, Edinburgh
  • 29th Nov: National Homelessness Event, online
  • 1-2nd Dec: National Commissioning Conference, Derbyshire

Come and talk to our teams who are ready to answer all your questions. Of course, you can always follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn and talk to us there. We are also always on the lookout for the next big success story of Star use and to support connecting services together.  For more information about marketing or your experiences using the Outcomes Stars you can directly contact Jen@Triangleconsulting.co.uk

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Going for collaboration at the GoLab Conference

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Triangle co-founder and Outcomes Star co-author Joy MacKeith reflects on the theme of collaboration at this year’s Social Outcomes Conference and points to Human Learning Systems as an effective way to make this the norm in service delivery.

Hear Joy describe what Triangle has learnt about what works in service delivery in this podcast

Watch her conversation with HLS proponent Toby Lowe

In early September, I had a fascinating two days at the Government Outcomes Lab (GoLab) Social Outcomes Conference.

I learnt about Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) and other outcomes-based funding initiatives around the world, from France to Australia and Paraguay to Japan, but for me, the most interesting session was on the UK’s Life Chances Fund.

We heard from many of the initiatives receiving this funding, all of them doing incredible work in a range of sectors including vulnerable mothers, employment and mental health.

The strongest common theme was how this additional funding and its link to long-term outcomes drove meaningful collaboration between providers and commissioners. In these initiatives, all parties are working together to identify blocks and create an ecosystem of services that has the needs of the person being helped at the core. It was inspiring to hear about their work.

Interestingly there wasn’t very much talk about the payment mechanisms and the extent to which linking funding to the achievement of particular targets was a valuable part of the process. From behind-the-scenes conversations I have had at this conference in previous years, I know that this can be a sensitive subject. Projects can be reticent to raise this issue when funders are in the room.

There were, however, some interesting discussions about the sustainability of these programmes. Although they can demonstrate cost savings, these are not always savings to the organisation providing the funding. For example, the local authority provides the funding, but the health service makes the saving. And they are not always ‘cashable’. For example, re-offending rates are reduced, but that does not make it possible to close down a wing of that prison and thereby reduce costs, at least in the short term. This fact can threaten the sustainability of SIBs as the rationale depends on the logic of these cashable savings. Perhaps we need to look for other mechanisms to support collaboration.

I have attended this conference for the last four years. This year I sensed a growing recognition of the importance of a person-centred approach to service delivery and the need to create a collaborative service system to achieve this. And more and more people now have experience of seeing how this can deliver improvements in practice. What we need now is a way of making this way of working part of typical day-to-day practice – in commissioning and service management, rather than something that happens when there is an additional pot of money to incentivise and support it.

Here I think Human Learning Systems (HLS) has some of the answers. It is an approach with problem-solving and ‘doing what it takes’ rather than ‘doing by the book’ at its core. This was a point made at the event by Lee Whitehead of Manchester Metropole University. He studied many SIBs and found that those that followed the HLS principles were more likely to succeed.  Gary Wallace of Plymouth also talked about how they are taking the kind of relational approach that both HLS and Triangle recommend outside of the context of a SIB.

I’ve been exploring HLS and the overlaps with Triangle’s Enabling Help principles with Toby Lowe, one of its leading proponents.  You can watch our conversation here.

And for a fuller description of what Triangle has learnt from twenty years of creating and supporting the Outcomes Stars in practice, listen to this episode of Next Stage Radicals where I describe the main messages of our Enabling Help report.

Also, look out for October’s edition where Mark Smith of Gateshead Council will be talking about how they are transforming their service delivery – informed by HLS and working with the Outcomes StarTM.

I will certainly be back at GoLab in 2023. I hope there will be even more space next year to hear from people like Mark who are finding ways to implement the person-centred and collaborative approaches, that are so important to Triangle and the people who use our Outcomes Stars– with or without a SIB.

Further reading: Dr Anna Good shares her thoughts on #SOC22

Musings on the importance of trusting relationships, professionals’ emotional labour, and the desire to improve delivery through data. 

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GoLab – Social Outcomes Conference 2022

Dr Anna Good shares her thoughts on #SOC22

Last week, Triangle directors- Graham Randles, Joy MacKeith and I attended the Government Outcomes Lab annual conference #SOC22

One presentation that particularly resonated with me was from Reji Ikeda at the Ministry of Justice in Japan. Talking about ‘value measurement for offender rehabilitation’, he emphasised the importance of the quality of the relationship and the ‘emotional labour of professionals and volunteers’ on rehabilitation outcomes. He also spoke about how poor occupational well-being can negatively impact these relationships. I couldn’t resist mentioning the Justice Star as an excellent tool for developing trusting relationships and boosting staff morale in this context.

Joy’s recent report Enabling help puts human relationships at the heart of effective service delivery, so this is at the forefront of my mind when thinking about the Star. The Enabling help report highlights the problems with borrowing from approaches such as the scientific and economic paradigms in social provision. Although not focused on the Star, the innovative suite of Stars offers a better, more enabling approach. I thought of this when the keynote presenter, Julie Battliana, stated that ‘agitation is alone is not enough to make change happen, innovation is required’.

 Another theme that I noticed running throughout the conference was the desire to use data to improve service delivery. I felt this was encouraging in a conference often focused on meeting targets and payment by results. Miika Vuorinen, a Chief of Evaluation from Finland, commented that one way to know if social outcome frameworks are working is to see if they are being integrated into the decision-making processes. Closer to home, Stan Gilmour from Thames Valley Police gave a powerful presentation, emphasising ethical decisions based on using data to allocate resources and plan social impact.

It’s possible I was looking out for these positive signs, as I feel passionate about encouraging and supporting good use of Star data. By ‘good use’ of data, I mean those closest to the creation of Star data (practitioners and managers) interpreting the data and using the learning to encourage changes needed to maximise the outcomes for those being supported.

Further reading: Going for collaboration at the GoLab Conference

Triangle co-founder and Outcomes Star co-author Joy MacKeith reflects on the theme of collaboration at this year’s Social Outcomes Conference and points to Human Learning Systems as an effective way to make this the norm in service delivery.

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