Mike Padgham, Co-founder, The Yorkshire and The Humber Care Association Alliance
With social care in crisis and politicians slow to act, Mike Padgham, Chair of the Independent Care Group, says the need for new alliances and for presenting a unified voice has never been greater.
It’s time for social care providers to come together, speak out and fight for a better deal.
Social care providers and those we care for have never had the strongest of voices and as a result have always been at the back of the queue when it comes to reform and the provision of adequate funding.
A new alliance of care provider groups in Yorkshire and The Humber is leading the way towards ending that and giving social care the unified voice it needs as the sector continues to struggle against inadequate funding, ongoing staffing shortages and the rising cost of living.
The Yorkshire and The Humber Care Association 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 Liaison Group).
Each represents dozens of individual care providers, from the private and not-for-profit sectors.
The Alliance is in turn a member of the national Care Association Alliance. Myself and James Creegan, CEO and Chair of the Kirklees Care Association, as board members, are proud to speak up for Yorkshire and The Humber on this influential national body.
The membership of the Yorkshire and The Humber alliance recently signed up to a Memorandum of Understanding, bringing our organisations closer together for the benefit of all care providers in our region and the thousands of people who rely on us for their care and quality of life.
The Memorandum and our representation on the national Care Association Alliance cements us as the only recognised, official representative care body for the Yorkshire and The Humber region.
At this time, when social care is under such unrelenting and unprecedented pressure, it is vital that we speak with a united voice and fight together for improvements to social care.
We look forward to adding more organisations and building this regional voice for social care providers and those who receive care. We would urge other associations across the country to join together and raise your voices in this way. We will bring the worries, issues and challenges facing social care providers to the attention of regional and national decision-makers and lobby for actions that will improve the sector.
The four principles that underpin our Memorandum are that we will strive to give people dignity and a good quality of life, to work together and support each other towards that aim, to work with integrity and to work with courage, to challenge the status quo.
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, lobbying and building greater awareness of social care and care providers.
Above all, the new Alliance will speak up for social care, fearlessly arguing for improvement in the sector and lobbying government for a better deal.