Blog: Agents of Change: Why Fellows need to engage in the Long Term Care Revolution


  • Picture of Ian Spero FRSA
    Ian Spero FRSA
  • Social care
  • Fellowship
  • Social innovation

What’s the point of being a FRSA? Personally, I like the essence of the RSA, its culture and its mission to promote enlightened thinking and collaborative action to address pressing social challenges. Easier said than done, of course, especially when we live in a world bursting with seemingly unassailable social challenges.

Arguably the most critical being the demographic shift. At some time in our lives, each of us will very probably, through declining health in advanced years, find ourselves significantly dependent on other people. As things stand, this is quite a scary proposition. With media and internet conversations revealing deep misgivings about quality and value for money, long term care is looking increasingly unaffordable, undignified, unsustainable and unfit for purpose; to individuals, government and society as a whole.

Furthermore, with the number of people living in care homes in the UK alone forecast at 1.13 million by 2050, and a predicted £30 billion funding gap in the health budget by the end of this decade, there is clearly a need to act now.

Last week I spoke at an RSA Engage event about Public Services and Communities. I asked the 150 or so Fellows present if they would be interested in investing some time and brain power to reimagine their own futures. Feedback was really positive with most people wanting to know, how can we get involved?

So, I propose three options: For the past few years I have been working with Innovate UK to help lay the groundwork for a revolution in long term care. Our mission is to challenge the status quo and demonstrate that through innovations in technology, business and service models, dependent lifestyles can become an engine for economic growth, leading to a reduction in the financial burden on State and citizens.

The person who conceived the Long Term Care Revolution (LTCR) and first brought this challenge – and indeed opportunity – to my attention is Jackie Marshall-Balloch, a Lead Specialist at Innovate UK, who has made it her business to change our world - and you’d better believe this lady means business!

Engage option 1

If you have a radical idea for a new product or service proposition which could disrupt the current model of long term care you can register interest to enter a £4 m funding competition designed to give early stage businesses a head start in the drive to transform long term care from an “end of life” institutional model, to a dynamic market in which emerging digital health and care services converge with new forms of social engagement, infotainment and evolving technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT); stimulating exciting new business opportunities and offering people greater choice and flexibility of care when they reach later life.

Interested? I would suggest you watch this short video where Jackie talks passionately about the origins and aspirations of the Revolution.

Engage option 2

Volunteer to be an assessor for the LTCR National Challenge. We’re looking for open minded people who think what if? And why not? If you are interested and available for a half day briefing in London September 11th drop me a line on [email protected] and tell me why you’d like to be considered.

Engage option 3

I am collaborating with Joanna Massie to put together an RSA Agents of Change network, with a view to co-creating a Formula for Agile Ageing™; Interested? Reach out to me on  [email protected]

Engage with our research


We find Fellows through the info they include on their profiles - update yours to let us know your skills and interests. To find out more about the RSA's work in Public Services and Communities, contact Joanna Massie

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