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Mediating with older people • Who are you calling unprofessional? • Scepticism and defensiveness in Scotland
Two typical reactions • “My sister could have done with you guys” • “Oh my God, I hope we never need you!”
“By 2016, for example, we expect the number of older Scots requiring some form of care to rise by up to a quarter, rising to nearly two thirds by 2032.” Reshaping Care for Older People, 2011 • “the number of people aged 75 and over is projected to rise by 75% from 370,000 in 2004 to 650,000 by 2031” Future Care of Older People, 2006
Mediation? • 0.01% of civil court actions in 2007-9 • 1,000 attended family mediation in 2011/12 out of over 10,000 divorces and at least that number of unmarried people separating
NHS Mediation Scheme(complaints about healthcare) • 100 mediations p.a. • 5 NHS areas • Train complaints handlers, who... • “select complaints cases which are deemed appropriate for mediation.”
What happened? • Year 1 - 5 cases • Year 2 - 2 cases • Complaints handlers: “I can only see myself sending a couple of cases a year.”
Small Claims Mediation Scheme • Airdrie Sheriff Court • Referrals from the In-court Advisor • 100 referrals - 15 went to mediation
Additional Support Needs (ASN)Mediation • Statutory foundation - Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 • Independent providers • Slow start - increases every year. 61cases in 2011/12(two major providers)
Statutory foundation: Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 2007“Where the commission considers it appropriate to do so , it may, by notice in writing to the complainer and the practitioner, offer to mediate in relation to the complaint.”Appointed a mediation managerSlow start - now more cases mediated than investigated(57 as against 42 in 2010/11)
Manager attributed slow burn success to three causes:1) word of mouth among professionals2) her own role as coordinator, “conveying the values of mediation”3) genuine goodwill on the part of lawyers: “they don’t want an unhappy client”
What is it about Scotland? • Free personal care (http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/lessons-funding-long-term-care-scotland ) • Free personal care has the capacity to support clients' wishes for person-centred care which is sensitive to individual needs • Free personal care has made provision for those of modest means – especially women – and people with conditions such as Alzheimer's disease more equitable • Free personal care promotes more 'joined-up' approaches, reduces means-testing and money worries, and enables informal carers to continue caring. Thus, it can improve clients' quality of life and support their care choices.
What is it about Scotland? • Poverty reduction (The Poverty Site - http://www.poverty.org.uk/s64/index.shtml) • The proportion of pensioners living in low-income households (using the low-income threshold of the 60% of median income after deducting housing costs) has been falling, from an average of 29% of all pensioners in the years 1996/97 to 1998/99 to an average of 14% in the years 2006/07 to 2008/09. • The proportion of pensioners in low income in Scotland is lower than in any of the other regions of the United Kingdom.
What is it about Scotland? • Professionals (Harris, Riddell and Smith (2008) SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS (ENGLAND) AND ADDITIONAL SUPPORT NEEDS (SCOTLAND) DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROJECT • “McPherson and Raab (1988) argued that professional autonomy was greater in Scotland than in England because Scottish semi-independence rested on the autonomy of its professionals.” • “England and Wales the bureaucratic rationality model is a dominant feature of the framework for decision- making...whereas in Scotland the professional judgment model is more dominant.”
Bureaucracy • Healthcare Improvement Scotland
Lessons • Start with respect and humility • Engage policymakers and politicians • Assume the best of professionals who are already working with older people • Avoid ‘mediation evangelism’ • Ask ‘what is the question to which mediation is the answer?’
Good luck and enjoy the work • Charlie Irvine • email@example.com