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Meet Phil Hall, Operations Manager in the Health + Social Care team

By Social Finance
Published 29 April 2022

Phil in action at a recent Social Finance event. (Photo: Rachelle Angeline)

What do you do at Social Finance?

I’m responsible for multiple end of life care projects across the country, from mobilisation to implementation – I basically make sure they all work! I might sit on various boards, manage work systems or help co-ordinate the work force. I get my hands as dirty or as clean as needed on each one.

These projects include:

  • Sutton: Palliative Care Coordination Hub, which supports people who need end of life care and their carers to help keep hospital admissions down, reducing the number of beds being used.
  • Bradford: Reducing inequalities in access to end of life care services by providing proactive, patient-centred, timely and responsive care, ensuring that patients coming into A&E are assessed quickly and provided with appropriate Marie Curie care within the community.
  • Hounslow: Enhanced dementia care service to identify and support people who have a diagnosis of dementia and are living in their own home, as well as providing support for their carers.

Before I joined Social Finance, I was working for Macmillan Cancer Support for eight years as a services project manager. Although I liked my job I was only focused on cancer, so I really enjoy the variety of subjects I now get to cover at Social Finance.

Is that why you wanted to work for Social Finance?

I do like working across different areas, such as dementia, but I was attracted to this job because I like the whole idea of Social Finance. There’s something about the organisation that inspires people who may have been struggling with ‘the system’ before – it gives them a voice they may not have had in other roles.

The attitude here is ‘It’s up to you to break the rules and bring barriers down. You’ve got access to funding and opportunities, so what are you going to do?’ It’s a totally different approach compared with government or charities. You get to try something a bit scary, which is great!

You’ve worked on a lot of projects. Which one are you most proud of?

Probably the Sutton hub; I got to know the team really well and it was so good to see the impact of the work we’d done. But with all our projects, it’s satisfying to know these services are in play that wouldn’t be here without social investment. It’s great knowing that we’ve helped in areas, like personalised end of life care, where funding isn’t easy to get hold of.

Why is end of life care so important?

End of life care is one of those subjects that people are afraid to talk about, but we must talk about it. As a society, we need to get better at having those conversations; what do you want to happen when you die? Where do you want to be? Who do you want to care for you?

There’s something about Social Finance that inspires people who may have been struggling with ‘the system’ before – it gives them a voice they may not have had in other roles.

That’s why advanced care plans are so important; they pull that information together, so your family and carers know your final wishes. My dad passed away just two days after going to hospital, so we didn’t have time to find out what he wanted. If he’d had an advanced care plan, it would’ve made things a lot easier.

You’re clearly passionate about health and social care. If you weren’t working for Social Finance, what would you be doing?

I do like helping people! Maybe I’d be at the NHS or working for another charity, but I’m really interested in counselling. I’d like to become a counsellor and work with people and families going through end of life care, then support them through bereavement. For me, it would be incredibly rewarding to work with young kids and families who are struggling with those issues.

Why do you think social investment works to improve health outcomes?

It’s a completely different model to what’s gone before. Social investment is sustainable and successful – social impact bonds link success to social outcomes that may take several years to happen, but without the same cliff-edge of funding they can be more sustainable than a one-off grant.

Social investment is also targeted on individual outcomes, such as a reduction of unplanned bed days. Using dashboards as a tool to monitor progress, the team can focus dynamically on the outcomes for the person at end of life. If people know exactly what they need to do to make a difference, that outcome is far more likely to be achieved. We know, and can prove, that this model works.

 

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