It is Monday and the sun is shining and of course this has absolutely nothing to do with us, but we like to think our Question It! series offers a little ray of sunshine in a world full of thorny issues. Or maybe not.
This week our question stems from a series of articles we have been following about the various ways in which local authorities are trying to reduce delays in the care proceedings process and we were more than made up that we had to focus on the new ethos currently sweeping certain boroughs, called the Toyota System.
The idea, as we understand it, is to try to make the system more efficient by using a method known as ‘lean production’, in which care proceedings are viewed as an assembly line, where the components (here lawyers, judges, social workers etc) are all running smoothly and offering top quality draw.
The boroughs who have tested out the Toyota System say it has almost halved the average time it takes to complete care proceedings and we gather this was done by bringing everyone together to ‘talk about their experiences’. The end result, so says Andrew Christie, director of children’s services for Westminster, Kensington and Hammersmith, is a system which delivers the best outcomes for children and saves money.
So, what do you think? More haste less speed, or are we actually starting to see some sensible communicating going on within a multi-disciplinary sector?
Possible answer: Until the boroughs in question can show that the children in question are benefiting from this approach, we will remain sceptical. Evidence, please!