A determination to ensure front line staff get better co-production and recognition for their dedicated work and praise for the CQC, marked ADASS President Ray James’ speech to delegates at the annual National Adults and Children’s Care conference in Bournemouth last week. At the same time he reminded central government, in the midst of its 2015 Spending Review, that only recently ADASS joined leading representatives of major charities, care providers and the NHS to publish a joint submission to the spending review – a `chorus of voices speaking with unprecedented unanimity’ across the sector telling government of the unquestionable need for a fair and sustainable funding settlement for adult social care.
Imploring the Chancellor “to do the right thing and give us a clean settlement to provide for both the growing funding gap for social care and the true cost of the living wage,” he warned of what will happen if he doesn’t. Elsewhere he threw out a challenge to colleagues to follow on with the successes of Making Safeguarding Personal. “This national best practice model with independent evaluation and accreditation has been co-produced and championed by leading experts and those who have experience abuse. If you are not actively working hard on this, what are you waiting for,” he said.
Concerning the CQC he acknowledged that regulators are rarely popular. Yet even by that standard the organisation required improvement in the wake of the events of a few years ago. While colleagues will acknowledge that their efforts are not yet as consistently applied as all would hope, they offer an example to many of us.
- A commitment to meaningful coproduction; authentic, values-based leadership epitomised in Andrea Sutcliffe’s ‘Mums’ Test’
- More robust inspection findings that we can increasingly rely on, and
- Perhaps most notably of all – growing numbers of dedicated staff now proud to say they work for the CQC.
More broadly, Mr James stressed the importance of integration, devolution and personalisation as three of the key developments which will dominate social care in the coming five years, and had a special word for:
He stressed his determination to play his part in ensuring that front-line social care staff get better recognition, and ‘unashamedly’ asked for delegates’ help in achieving that aim. “Ultimately the quality of people’s lives will be determined by our ability to attract people with the right skills and behaviour into social care.”
“As Jeremy Hunt said in his speech to the LGA conference in Harrogate, it needs to become as natural to have a conversation with your employer about caring responsibilities for older parents as it is about child care.”
On Winterbourne View and its aftermath, he said that in many parts of the country there has been insufficient progress. “I ask all of you to satisfy yourselves that all that can be done is being done, in your localities to transform the opportunities available for this group of people. We will continue to work with NHS colleagues on the national enablers, to remove barriers and spread good practice.”