With a spate of bad publicity about the apparently rapid vanishing sense of caring from the world of care it was bound to happen. The kind of fight back reminiscent of the queue of buses clogging up the roads just after it has stopped raining!
With the anticipation of a white paper on social care in the Spring: first in the queue was the minister himself. Paul Burstow speaks about the importance of care with a degree of sincerity and authenticity that is compelling. He has established a series of working groups under the title Caring for our Future with the specific aim of consulting with key groups before the white paper is published in Spring. Whether he has seen the value of the Future Forum process led by Steve Field for the Health bill is open to speculation, but if this consultation process can get in touch with the real issues, rather than rely too heavily on the rather less connected view from Richmond House than it has my vote.
Then, this morning, a press release crossed my desk from the Care Provider Alliance – a body setup to represent the vast majority of social care provision inEngland. They have just published a vision document to stimulate debate about the nature of regulation and inspection. In it they suggest an approach to the co-production of the regulation regime, encouraging CQC to tap into the knowledge and experience of the members, most of whom admit they are seeking re-establish credibility and shrug of the tainted image left by Southern Cross.
Lo and behold, this afternoon, I bumped into another press release, this time from Dignity and Care Partnership, an alliance launched in July between the NHS Confederation, the Local Government Association and Age UK. This worthy group has just launched a Commission, to gather evidence from all interested parties to help improve dignity in the care provided to older people whether that be in hospitals or residential care.
Together this constitutes a chorus saying enough is enough. I applaud it, but can we have some degree of joining up to avoid dissipation of effort to get this right.
Now I leave it to you to decide whether the Centre has just allowed another bus to leave the depot, or is offering a suitable interchange station at which those on the buses may meet up for the next leg of their own particular journey. In responding to Caring the Future, we have already billed one of the Centre’s seminars on 28th November as a forum to support its work and bring academic and practitioners together around the quality and workforce topics. One of our planned speakers from that working group is also a leading player in CPA, and we will continue our quest to be truly interdisciplinary in our approach as we plan out that seminar. Do help this important debate – contribute, follow and maybe even join us.