With recent announcements causing negative media attention and calls for reform throughout the social care industry, local care provider, AJ Social Care, has called for a more positive outlook to drive change and give greater support to a more progressive social agenda.
Jo Guy, Managing Director of AJ Social Care, explains why she believes a positive approach should be adopted to spearhead change and put practices in place to provide clear guidelines for the future of the care sector.
“It’s so easy to jump on the band wagon and to say that things are difficult and times are tough but the reality is that there are so many negative associations with the social care market place that the good news gets lost amongst it.
“That’s not to say that the reasons for this news aren’t warranted but that we should be using it to address the problems within the market and move on. We need to have a more positive outlook and to agree regulatory conform, which will at least in part stop these situations from happening.
“There are challenges and poor practices shown across all areas of social care; private, public and third sector and many examples of mismanagement with money and individuals but what we seem to miss and fail to address is that we should all be working together. Public, private and third sector organisations need to have a more joined up and collaborative view on how we are going to get this right for the greater benefits of those we all provide care for.
“As a Non Executive Director of the United Kingdom Home Care Association and the owner of a care business I am very passionate about the future of this industry and think that we need to start to make changes now to secure the long term future of care provision to the public and private sector. We need to consider where we will be in years to come and what infrastructure will be in place to support an aging population reliant on an industry to deliver care and support.
“Future strategies should be on the agenda, better ways of working, collaborative thinking and a more stringent and regulated approach to the industry as a whole. Identifying best practice and promoting the good work that is co-ordinated should in turn help to rectify the bad.
“We should also be shaking off the stigma associated with those people who work in social care. Many people perceive care to be a part time job, not a long term successful career path and it’s our job to change that. Unless we change this we will not succeed in attracting the very best professionals to this industry. We need to be showing what can be achieved through a career in social care and what benefits there are to working in such a diverse marketplace.
“If we take the demise of Southern Cross for example, we understand that we need to uncover failings within the sector and the impact that this is having now and in the future, but we should also be looking at who has stepped forward to rectify these matters and how this is impacting positively on the families and friends of those needing support both for health and general care. There are businesses out there who can and are making positive changes with least impact on those who require care, while delivering long term stability for the provision of care services in that area.
“Care is often considered an ‘agenda point’ but what this actually means can remain a mystery. Unless something goes wrong or cuts are made then we very rarely hear much about it and I want to change that, I want to make it my job to shout about the good practices and the high standard of care that is on offer in this country.
“The government needs to take these matters seriously and to do something about it. Implement stricter regulations, set targets for those offering provision and support for those who are not meeting the mark. Those who are unable to meet with the basic criteria shouldn’t be working in the care market, the sector is too important to too many people for mistakes to be such a consistent problem.
“I for one will champion change and hope that others within the sector will stand up to be counted. Without change we can expect to see more of the same and many will feel that they are supporting an ever depleting sector with too little support on offer.”