Beyond Blame
Fixing broken systems in housing and social care

Wednesday 29th November 2017, Kingston University & St Georges, University of London, Kingston Hill, Surrey KT2 7LB
9.45 – 15:40

The public and third sectors are littered with high-profile tragedies that have become the subject of major and costly enquiries, reports and tabloid stories.

In the aftermath, the attention of politicians, media and the public always turns to who was to blame. This is a predictable and understandable response; however it distracts us from examining the systemic factors behind why tragedies happen and, more importantly, how we can design out the systemic causes of these failures.

This one-day event showcases a different way of managing organisations  in housing and social care – demonstrating how an increasing number of organisations in both single- and multi-agency settings have moved away from a blame culture to one based on genuine learning and improvement.

Find out how systems pioneers are driving out costs and reducing risk by rediscovering their organisation’s true purpose and finding out what really matters to people.

The event is run jointly by Vanguard Consulting and the Department of Social Work and Social Care at Kingston University and St Georges,
University of London

Confirmed speakers

  • Professor John Seddon, Vanguard Consulting
  • Dr Rick Hood, Associate Professor in Social Work, Kingston University and St Georges, University of London
  • Mark Scott, Deputy Head of Business Support, Shelter
  • Matthew Cunningham, Business Support Team, Shelter
  • Richard Davis, author of ‘Responsibility and Public Services’
  • Meilys Heulfryn Smith, Senior Business Manager, Adults, Health and Wellbeing Department, Gwynedd Council
  • Sarah Paxton, Group Manager, Social Care and Housing, Torfaen County Borough Council
  • Jo Newman, Group Manager, Social Care and Housing, Torfaen County Borough Council
  • Julie Jones, Service Manager, Supported Housing, Money, Home, Job, Walsall Council
  • Samantha Hanson, Assistant Team Manager, Transition and Leaving Care, Walsall Council
  • Mandy Tilston-Viney, Regional Director, Cartrefi Cymru

Challenging conventions

You will learn that these pioneers all started in the same place – studying their services from a different point of view; you will hear how studying reveals counter-intuitive truths that fundamentally challenge conventional thinking.

Significant and sustainable improvement

Using the Vanguard Method, these pioneers have understood why the system fails vulnerable people – despite the efforts, commitment and skills of those within it – and how to fix the system.

You will see the principles that have been employed to design far more effective services; and to top it all off you will see how improving effectiveness drives down costs – and not by a little but by a lot.

Someday all people-centred services will work this way

This is a well-trodden path that you will be able to follow; no need for faith or hope, no worries about whether it could work for you, only confidence that if you do as they have done you will achieve similar remarkable results.

The event will take place at the Kingston Hill campus on the ground floor of the Business School building. Free on-site parking. Short bus ride or taxi journey from Kingston or Norbiton train stations. You can find further directions here.

Special Early Bird Rate: £95 + VAT – book before 6th October 2017. Full rate £150 +VAT. To book your place, request a booking form or check availability of group discounts at