Opinion

Chaos and Certainty

Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive, Care England

As the chaos that surrounds Brexit intensifies and the future becomes more and more unclear and uncertain it is tempting to think that this chaos extends to the whole world.

Thankfully this is not true and amidst the chaos of politics which is descending daily from chaos into farce, there are many things that we can rely on. I am proud to say that despite the external environment and years of underfunding social care remains constant in the lives of so many people and continues to transform lives giving people dignity and respect.

When you see people who are living with such enormous challenges responding with dignity and tenacity to complex situations you realise that our politicians could learn a lot from the way in which people who use social care services respond to difficult situations.

Whatever the coming months or years may hold social care will continue to deliver world-class care and support services in whatever context we find ourselves.

One of the things that constantly concerns me is the way in which social care does not receive the visibility or recognition that it deserves. All too often the focus of attention is on the NHS, and whilst there is much to commend in this national institution, it would not be able to function were it not for the myriad of social care services that support people when there are no easy health-related solutions.

Care Home Open Day, which is taking place this year on Friday the 28th of June, will be another opportunity for care services to connect with their local communities and to showcase the tremendous contribution the care makes to the lives of people who need support. Since its inception, Care Home Open Day has been a real opportunity for care services to celebrate their success and connect with their local communities. There have been countless interactions over the years, which have started by somebody being welcomed into a care service and understanding more about it. One of the things that I have noticed when I talk to people who have entered care services for the first time, is that they are completely surprised because their preconceived notions of what a care service is like are swept away when they see the reality and they talk to people who are using caring support to facilitate them living well with a long-term condition.

At times of uncertainty, it is really important to remind ourselves that not every aspect of our society is lacking in a vision for the future. Social care is really clear about what it can deliver and the impact that it has on people’s lives. What we need now is for the political class to understand our contribution to the communities and to the local economy, and to start supporting social care with a long-term and strategic policy which sees our services as an essential part of the national infrastructure.

After 21 years of waiting, I am not confident that we will see social care receiving the respect it deserves from this or any other Government, but I am confident that whether it be the best or the worst of circumstances social care will rise to the occasion and deliver the best possible care for the people we support.

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