CARE providers across the Yorkshire and Humber region are joining forces to support one another and fight for better care for the area’s oldest and most vulnerable people.
The Yorkshire and Humber Care Association Alliance (YHCAA) brings together bodies representing hundreds of care providers across the area.
It began two years ago as an informal forum for organisations to work together as a solution-led organisation to improve social care.
Now its members are signing up to a Memorandum of Understanding, formalising the group’s structure and committing to work together to improve care.
The Alliance comprises Barnsley Independent Care Home Providers Association, Bradford Care Association, Hull and East Riding Care Association, The Independent Care Group (North Yorkshire and York), Kirklees Care Association, Leeds Care Association, Sheffield Care Association and Wakefield (Independent Sector Leadership Group).
Each represents dozens of individual care providers, from the private and not-for-profit sectors, looking after adults with physical, sensory or learning disabilities, people with mental ill-health, and older people. This includes care and nursing homes, home care services, Shared Lives schemes and retirement communities, extra care facilities and day care.
The YHCAA is on the national Care Association Alliance, an umbrella body for care associations across the country.
Mike Padgham, Chair of the Independent Care Group (ICG), chaired the latest meeting of the Alliance.
He said: “This is a really exciting moment for the Alliance as we move forward together and strive to improve care for many hundreds of thousands of people in our region and beyond. Unity in our sector is key.
“We are at a pivotal moment for social care in this country and it is important that the voice of care providers in Yorkshire and the Humber is heard more strongly than ever before.
“The YHCAA will be the pre-eminent collective, regional voice for social care. It will speak up for hundreds of care providers across the region and fight for reform and improvement to the lives of many thousands of people who rely on social care for their quality of life.
“We need to present a strong, united voice and I passionately believe that bringing all our individual organisations to the table of a single forum is a great way to progress the case for social care in our region.”
The Alliance’s overall aim is to provide leadership, help, support and advice to its membership, share best practice and work with care commissioners, including local authorities and NHS bodies and other partners to improve the quality of life of those living with a care need. It will work on things like improving fees for providers, helping providers get access to training for staff, informing regional and national care policy by sharing information and trends and building greater awareness of social care and care providers.
James Creegan, CEO and Chair of Kirklees Care Association, said: “As the challenges facing care providers grow and become more complex, the need for greater, more informed and more relevant support grows too. By coming together as an Alliance, our associations can pool resources, gain vital insights, produce and share guidance and help provide advice and solutions to the benefit of those providers.
“Our greatest strength will be in our ability to link local knowledge and local relationships with regional and national partners to help us all work together to improve care for people across our region. We will also work with other organisations and networks that can feed into our aims.
“Our new alliance will provide a stronger, louder, unified voice, campaigning locally, regionally and nationally for better care for people and fairer treatment of those who provide it.”