By Debbie le Quesne

Resolutions to change the way we are delivering our care

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It may be a little late for New Year resolutions, but if they’re going to help our care sector bring them on please . . .

Mike Padgham. chairman of the UK’s biggest homecare organization, has called for fewer words and more action to tackle the care of the country’s older and vulnerable people.

The boss of the United Kingdom Homecare Association, says he is fed up of endless reports and condemnation of the sector, according to a report on the Care Industry news website magazine.

In a hard-hitting approach this is what he has to say on the post: “Over a decade or more we have had endless reports and endless talk about caring for people in their own home, about improving commissioning practices and about tackling funding in the care sector.

“It is time instead to see some action taken to tackle these things rather than just passing round one report after another.

“We are like the England cricket team at the moment – under fire from all sides and no sign of help in sight.”

Quite rightly he pointed out that Government promises has resulted in little real action.

He adds: “We see little real understanding of what it is like delivering care at the sharp end

“Having to provide home care when commissioners are paying £9 £10 or £11 an hour! Dashing across busy cities to fit in visit after visit and not even getting paid for that travel time! Having to squeeze a visit into 15 minutes when humanity and common decency cry out that it should be longer.

“We are an easy target and get very little support or recognition – despite the fact that caring for people in their own home is a central plank in Government policy.”

And here’s the list of resolutions:

“I want the inspection of commissioners by the CQC returned to the Care Bill,” he said.

“I want those commissioners to take the full cost of providing care into account when setting fees with providers – including travel time. I want them to consider quality and the quality of life of the clients.

“I want the Government to recognise the great human and economic contribution social care makes in this country and support it like it supports other industries.

“And above all, I want social care to get the funding it deserves so that we can start providing homecare that we can all be even more proud of.”

“At the end of 2013 we had our annual conference and the feedback from that was that homecare providers are fed up of being criticised for the care they are able to provide in a social care system that is starved of money and struggling.”

Hmm  . . . follow that. I agree with it all. We are, indeed, an easy target, but more so are those for whom we care. What is it with this government? It seems we will fund everything from opera to the HS2 project and still we see social care, in my opinion, left with the ‘dog ends’ of provision.

Our profession needs greater status and massively improved recognition and I can see little at present from the coalition that serves these two essential pillars.

Dignity Action Day on February 1 looms ever nearer. Dignity comes at a cost – though I know some will disagree. To deliver dignified care, whether in the domiciliary market of in residential or nursing homes, needs resources and those resources cost.

“We’re all this this together . . .” was Mr Cameron’s claim as we entered into austerity measures. Along with others in the Cabinet, I don’t believe he has a clue. Perhaps he could spend a week working alongside any one of my members’ employees and engage the challenges of caring without sufficient resources.

It will never happen, I know, and even if it did, there would be a timeframe – a start and an end – and he could return to his own life. Mr Cameron, can you imagine what it’s like to desperately want to deliver care excellence and being forever compromised?

Is there someone out there, with a large influential profile, who will be our champion?


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