Working in the world of academia.  

4 October 2022

By John Potts

Having spent my main working life in IT in the private sector working on this exciting project is a very different and challenging experience especially in this new virtual world. A new culture and a set of very different working practices have been learnt and become the norm. 

What do I bring to the Project? In my main employment 2 of the greatest challenges were changing the work culture to meet the needs of retail and other users with 7 x 24 working and being responsible for measuring customer satisfaction and acting upon the results. As you can see like today’s challenges in Social Care. My introduction to Care followed my involvement with our local Patient Participation Group, and subsequent membership of the Kent County Council People’s Panel, which led to the opportunity to join this Project. 

My role in the project as a joint applicant is all about ensuring public engagement and undertaking the role of lay representative. As a member of the main team, I have a voice in all areas and will always ensure the public are a key part of our working with co-production being addressed at all levels. 

We have now completed our first year and have in place all key members of the team, together with our lived experience working group of 12 members. We are very aware of the need to have representation from users, providers, and carers across a broad section of geography and demographics.  

We are now entering the real challenge: to start addressing the two topics of workforce and managing complex needs through our communities of practice. Our approach is to use the experience of our working group, together with care providers, practitioners,  support services and researchers, to gain a true understanding of the problems. We are also offering some fully funded Research and Training Fellowships to assist with this task in addition to our Researchers in Residence. 

An interesting by-product of the project was that we were invited to produce a paper on our views of the “Invisibility of Social care” to a House of Lords Select committee on Adult Social Care. We await their response. 

We are always looking for new members of our Communities of Practice so if you believe you have the experience and time to join us, please send your details to:  

Follow us on Twitter: @ResearchKent  

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