Meet social care’s top bloggers no.6: Social Care Insight

Tony Butcher from the Social Care Insight blog tells us hopes for social care 2013 and why he's no fan of the term 'co-production'.

What’s your name or pseudonym?

Tony Butcher

Where can we find you on the Twitter/blogosphere?

On Twitter @TonyButcher and my blog is

What three words would best describe your blog?

Relevant, wide-ranging, personal.

What’s your role in social care?

Primarily managing training and quality assurance for a social care provider.

Why did you start blogging/tweeting?

To add to and raise the debate about social care. I believe that the more we can get people to talk about social care the higher profile it will begin to receive. As an area of social policy social care has only become important since the 1940s when life expectancy started to dramatically increase and, it seems, policy is yet to fully catch up.

If you could recommend one of your blog posts to social workers what would it be?

Personalisation and Being Human – sometimes we can get caught up in the bureaucratic web of definitions and jargon while, in reality, it is important to listen to those who need care services and acknowledge their individuality.

Can you recommend a social care blog?

D4Dementia is a fantastic blog highlighting the impact of dementia from a personal view. Also anything by Ermintrude2 who has a great ability to really hit the nail on the head.

Favourite non-social care blog?

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation Blog – while it does, occassionally, touch on social care it is a excellent resource for what is happening in society more widely.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen in your job?

I recently received a flyer from a training provider which stated that all their courses met the National Minimum Standards, yet those standards were replaced in October 2010! Needless to say the flyer went in the bin but it seems quite common that not everyone in social care training is as up to date as they really should be.

What one tip would you give to NQSWs or people thinking about becoming social workers?

Focus on the person – listen to them and learn about them – that is the best basis for personalised care and support.

What’s your most hated jargon in your job?

Probably controversially, as it is a favoured term at the moment, co-production. Co-production, to me, is the antithesis of what it is supposed to mean. If we are to work with individuals to provide better personalised care then we need to use ordinary language to talk to them and not confuse issues with academic jargon.

What’s your biggest social work hope for 2013?

Greater recognition of the needs of older adults with learning disabilities. Learning disabilities do not stop when a person reaches the age of 65 and age related conditions can certainly appear earlier than 65 in many people with learning disabilities and with increasing longevity older people with learning disabilities need services to meet their needs rather than generic services for older people.

What’s your biggest social work fear for 2013?

Yet more pontification and prevarication from those at the top with little or no help for those who need care services.

Best biscuit for a tea break?

Most difficult question of all! I think it has to be a shortcake biscuit.

Tony is featured in our #socialcare60 Twitter list, which features the top social care tweeters as voted by our readers and Twitter followers. Check out the list, and download it here

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