top of page

Here's to a better New Year for social care

Updated: Apr 24

Have we ever begun a New Year like this one? We are still in the grip of COVID-19 with the government just announcing a third lockdown. This in effect means more restrictions, working from home, no attendance at school, no social gathering, no trips to the gym, and theatres and pubs out of bounds.

It seems a gloomy picture but we must all remain positive and we are told there is light at the end of the tunnel in the shape of the Oxford AstraZeneca Vaccine along with Pfizer Vaccine, which will give us immunity against the virus, and reduce the rate of infection. This should enable us to return to some form of normal life.

Given the time of year and the situation we all find ourselves in, I thought I would like to continue in a positive vein and have a stab at what things might look like as we make our way through the year.

Improvement in the lives of residents and staff

The government is giving priority to vaccinating residents and staff in care homes. It is hoped that they should have all received their vaccinations by mid-February. This alongside following CQC policies and procedures should lead to a reduction in the rate of transmission of the virus and the saving of lives.

Families will be able to visit their loved ones and enjoy meeting one another again, after being apart for so long.

Care homes will be able to offer more activities to residents and more engagement. As a result of spending more time together, residents will be no longer feel so lonely and we should see an improvement in their health.

There should be a reduction in the stress levels of staff as they will not have to spend so much time caring for residents who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Improvement in business

Care home providers have been hit hard by the pandemic. Some have had to close their services because people were not seeking admission due to the alarming death rate. It is hoped that the reduction in the number of people contacting the virus following on from the vaccination programme, will reassure people and bring back confidence.

Recognition of care workers

It is difficult to identify anything good that has come out of the pandemic. However, one of the exceptions has been the recognition of care workers and the contribution they have made in the caring of others during the pandemic, adapting to continually changing policies and procedures for supported living.

One wants to see this recognition matched by government deeds and rewards. Social care workers need a career structure with recognised qualifications that are rewarded.

Strategy for social care

Prior to COVID-19, the social care industry endured a number of years with broken promises by government on the production of a strategy that was fit for purpose. This pandemic has shown the critical contribution that care workers make to health and wellbeing of others. The industry deserves to know what plans the government has for its future, and the pandemic should not prevent the production of a strategy covering the future of social care.

Summary

Given the current situation in relation to the pandemic as we enter our third lockdown. It may seem odd that I am trying to predict events that may unfold during 2021. But life must go on. We will see improvement in some areas and a better life for users of social care services and staff. We need to build on the recognition that social care staff have gained during the pandemic and hope that this will accompanied by the long awaited strategy for social care in 2021.

Albert Cook BA, MA & Fellow Charted Quality Institute Managing Director Bettal Quality Consultancy

4 views0 comments
bottom of page