Everyone will be aware of the impact that Covid-19 has had on our care system. Personally, over recent weeks, I have heard plenty of stories of the heroic efforts made by our clients and their dedicated teams, some uplifting and others very sad.
However, one positive that I have taken from this terrible pandemic is the renewed love that the country has for our health care system and for social care in particular.
The NHS has, historically, been the main focus for many, with social care being very much the poor relation; underfunded, disjointed and with a workforce underpaid and undervalued by the government and, if we are all being honest with ourselves, by many of the population.
Covid-19 has brought social care into the spotlight and voices that have been previously unheard are now attracting attention. I genuinely believe that the wider public are now better informed about the sheer scale of social care.
However, what is also becoming clearer is that some operators may never recover, whilst others may simply feel that they have had enough of a system that for too long has failed them.
Where will that leave social care and what would we like to see happen as a result of this current opportunity? I appreciate that the word opportunity may appear insensitive, but I am a firm believer that opportunities for change and improvement often come from difficult times and we should not be afraid to grasp them.
My personal wish list for social care is:
- Properly funded care governed by need rather than cost.
- A system to support operators rather than to look for fault.
- Consistency across local authorities on rates for care so that any decisions are inclusive.
- The Government to finally decide on a care model, at whatever cost, without fearing a public outcry. Now is the time to garner public support for change. Too many Governments have started a process then failed to make the difficult decisions that need to be made.
- An acceptance that those who can afford to contribute to care need to do so. I genuinely believe that those that can afford it would pay additional tax and NI to cover the ever-increasing health care cost of the nation.
- That good care is recognised and applauded. For too long our press and inspecting bodies have been quick to focus on the negative, whilst neglecting the great work done every day within the sector. I suspect that this point will be the hardest to achieve, given the nature of our press.
- That our elderly population is not forgotten and do not become invisible. We owe them a great deal.
We at HSKS Greenhalgh have a real passion for social care and act for operators throughout the sector.We are always keen to discuss our experiences with operators, advisors and all who have an interest in this rewarding industry.