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Case Studies7

Gill Phillips was successful in winning a Skills for Care / Skills for Health ‘Meet the Dragons’ award to co-produce an innovative Whose Shoes?® project in Yorkshire and Humber.

The competition took place at the ‘Think outside the box’ conference in Newcastle, June 2010 and, after first getting past the ‘Dragons’, was judged by the audience in a packed hall. The ensuing local project was formulated and very ably led by Barbara Dalby and Sharon Terry, experts by experience.


  • To reach the people who needed to know about the self-directed support / personalisation agenda
  • To enable people needing health and social care support, informal carers and professionals to understand the radical shift required to achieve a truly person-centred approach, helping people live life to the full
  • To encourage peer support and empower people to be able to work in partnership with professionals, as experts in their own lived experience and desired outcomes
A peer support story involving experts by experience

What happened

Experts by experience led six sessions with commissioners and providers of social care services across the Yorkshire & Humber region. All sessions were very well received and highly successful.


It was identified that people found it hard to develop personal budgets because of the terminology used and variations from different areas and services. Often people didn’t know what they needed to ask to get the information they needed.

Using the Whose Shoes?® tool with groups including professionals and experts by experience on an equal footing using everyday language enabled people to think creatively about how the most benefit could be gained from limited resources. The scenarios posed by Whose Shoes?® enabled everyone to share their knowledge or expertise or highlight where they needed to do more research.

Impact on workforce development and how you can use the learning

Social care managers / commissions / providers / workers need to have the ability to put themselves in the shoes of the people they work with and for.

Service Users and carers are well able to evaluate their own needs and the priorities for their own health and wellbeing when a tool like this is used to create the right environment for open discussion. Exploration and negotiation of possible solutions can produce a good outcome and effective use of resources.

People using services and informal carers often feel disempowered and in awe of care managers. Professionals may feel worried about ‘protecting’ resources or endorsing solutions that are unconventional. A relaxed approach can help everyone to feel more comfortable and equal.

Huge appreciation and thanks to, Sharon Terry, a personal budget holder and Barbara Dalby, who cared for her two disabled and elderly parents. For more information click here.

The images used on the website page backgrounds are based on graphic records
produced in real time during 'Whose Shoes®' events by New Possibilities Ltd.

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