Not a day seems to go by without headlines focusing on our broken care system. Whether it’s focusing on the lack of funding (definitely true!), examples of neglect, or the costs which people will incur in later life, the dialogue always seems to be tainted to the negative.
Compare this with the reverence which the NHS is discussed and we see a tale of two cities.
Take 10 people. Ask them to say the first word which comes into their head. Then say ‘NHS’. Next say ‘Social Care’. The former tend to elicit positive reactions, the latter negative.
I’m lucky to work with the people who use the care system, the people who commission it, and the people who provide it. A typical day involves designing a new service with commissioners and the people who use and deliver those services, working with commissioners through some of the issues they may be grappling with or working with providers calculating what represents a fair cost of care in their local area.
Through these daily conversations, I speak to people who improve people’s lives every time they go to work; and they certainly do not do it for the money. I often think this gets lost in the national narrative on social care.
It’s time to turn the narrative around and we need to speak of the people who benefit from the care system and give those who run our care system the respect they deserve. Social Care needs to love at the moment. Let’s hope it gets some in the coming months and years.