In order to promote a new way of attending to those most vulnerable in society, Institut Cerdà and the “Taula d’entitats del Tercer Sector Social de Catalunya” (Association of Voluntary Social Sector Organisations in Catalonia), have carried out a study on the current system of attention to people, with the objective of diagnosing the degree of proximity to a community centred, people-centric, model.
For some time, numerous initiatives and projects, all aimed at developing a model of community care focused on the individual, have been emerging from the Association of Voluntary Social Sector Organisations Catalonia. This is evident in the numerous examples of good practice included in the Institut Cerdà study carried out within the first phase of the COM3 Strategy. In fact, in comparison with other European countries, Catalonia is not far from leading societies or from the most successful experiences in people-centric social care.
The diagnosis developed in the first phase of the COM3 Strategy, structured in 9 areas or themes, has involved the participation of 17 federations, members of the Association. This thematic approach has been merely instrumental; the objective of the people-centric community model is actually to erase the boundaries, both between areas and between the social and health perspectives. The desired result is the creation of organized service itineraries focussed on the person rather than on thematic areas.
The people-centric community care model is based on the principles of personal dignity, capacity and autonomy. It has been defined as the model of care “that promotes the necessary conditions for the achievement of improvements in all areas of the quality of life and well-being of the person, based on full respect for their dignity and rights, their interests and preferences, and on their active participation”.
The aim of the model is to achieve maximum well-being for each person served, combined with maximum independence and the highest degree of self-control over their own daily life as possible.
The intention is to move from an institutionalized, rigid and impersonal model of service provision, to the provision of support, from the community and through the community, which will allow, in all circumstances, the most flexible and appropriate responses to be developed according to a person’s particular needs. That is why the people-centric community care model has to be comprehensive, personalised and transversal in relation to all the related different areas that affect it.
One of the great challenges of the new model is, precisely, to overcome the fragmented vision and the compartments in the provision of services, to transform the system according to the personal itineraries and the life trajectory of the user.
During the elaboration of the COM3 Strategy diagnosis, Institut Cerdà agreed the 6 vectors that define the people-centric community care model with all the agents involved (Government, participating federations, academic experts and collaborating institutions). Subsequently, the various services and each of the areas have been assessed based on these vectors:
- Attention from the community: the degree to which a particular service comes from the community environment (rather than from isolated professional structures).
- Integration with other services: degree of connection or adequacy of a service with other benefits and services that can be received by the same user.
- Customisation: possibility to adapt a service to the needs and requirements of a user.
- Autonomy of decision: degree to which the person served can exercise and make their will prevail in the use of a service.
- Multidisciplinary socio-sanitary: degree of integrated (rather than dissociated) vision of the social and health perspectives.
- Prevention: ability to anticipate, to generate habits, practices or behaviour that fosters peoples’ health, well-being and autonomy.
The analysis carried out by Institut Cerdà has made it possible to diagnose the degree of development of each of these 6 vectors in the 9 areas indicated, and thus to know and analyse the strengths and weaknesses of each area in relation to the people-centric community care model.
Finally, according to these same vectors, 46 good practices have been identified in the Voluntary Social Sector. Also9 reference projects have been chosen, , in collaboration of a team of experts, that summarise and illustrate the key characteristics of this new paradigm of community care for the most vulnerable groups in our society.