Posts Tagged ‘Dignity in Care’

Dignity in Care Awards, Covid vaccination prioritisation and our new intranet

Monday, February 1st, 2021

Our colleague, Charlotte Murphy, has been in touch to remind me that the Dignity in Care Awards are open for nominations for the 2021 round.  You will perhaps remember my plugging these awards in previous years, making the point that we are probably unique in recognising professional carers as well as volunteers.  In a year where care and carers have never had more public and media attention, this is our opportunity to say thank you to the profession of caring and to recognise those who go the extra mile.  I expect that the judging will be even harder than normal, but it’s a really nice problem to look forward to.

I was interested over the weekend at the news coverage and public reaction to Covid vaccination prioritisation, and particularly the news that council employees in other places have received their vaccinations from apparently left-over stocks.  

The UK took a risk in procuring large quantities early, and even more of a risk in launching the programme in December when the supply chains were not yet fully formed.  It very much looks like that risk is paying off, with the combination of the latest lockdown and vaccination programme reducing infection rates, hospital occupancy and deaths. 

You will recall that I have written before on the unfairness of Covid as a disease; the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, experts who understand risk better than anybody else in the world – they work out our insurance and pension rates for a living – have produced an analysis of effectiveness of the recommendations for prioritisation put forward by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).  At present, the vaccination programme is focused on preventable death – largely those in old age, of those who are clinically extremely vulnerable. I’ll let those of a curious nature read the paper, but it was interesting that a care home resident is 2,300 times more likely to die of this disease than somebody who is under 50 years old.  This is why, in Staffordshire, we are focusing our early efforts on the high-risk cohorts of elderly and those clinically vulnerable to the disease, particularly at a time when vaccine supplies are constrained.  Whilst I recognise that this is disappointing for some county council colleagues, and for other valuable front line services such as our emergency services and teachers, Staffordshire is at the head of the UK’s ambitious programme, with 143,000 of our county’s most vulnerable people vaccinated, well above the national average.  Whilst I cannot give you exact timescales, I can say with confidence that we’re doing everything we can to get as many people in the county vaccinated as soon as possible.      

Lastly in this lengthy blog entry, for which I apologise, we’ve got a new intranet coming, which will assist us in moving to the next phase of Smart Working, making all of our working lives easier.  It has built in Microsoft SharePoint, so it works alongside everything else we do in Microsoft 365.  It will be dove-tailed with our greater use of Teams, with the intranet content being relevant to all or most colleagues; information that is only relevant to certain groups of people will be stored in Teams.  We think our new intranet deserves a name.  Help us decide – vote for a name by Thursday 4 February. We’ll let you know the winning name in The Knot on that day.

Coronavirus and Dignity in Care Awards

Monday, October 26th, 2020

The theme this week, in the Covid outbreak, is one of rising infection levels across the country; Staffordshire is not immune in this respect.  Stoke has moved into High Alert or Tier 2 on Friday.  In Staffordshire, infection levels are mostly lower, but nonetheless rising, and on the current trajectory it will be a question of when, rather than if, the county moves into High Alert too.  My aim, along with the whole of the county council, is to manage this transition in a planned manner, firstly through our ongoing discussions with government but more importantly by working with residents and partner organisations across the public and private sectors, to ensure that we strike the balance between control measures and keeping Staffordshire businesses and schools operating as well as is possible. 

Local test and trace arrangements are working well, which is the result of a great deal of detailed work by county council and NHS colleagues, but, we must remind ourselves that any test and trace effort contains the spread after infection has happened; as infection levels rise, the focus moves onto personal behaviours of hygiene, space and face coverings, which will have the greatest preventative effect on the spread of the virus.  Having made a great effort in the first wave to treat Staffordshire residents with respect and trust in their common sense, the fastest route out of Tier 2, if and when it happens, is for these efforts to be redoubled.

Adult Social Care providers bore the brunt of the first outbreak, and it was good this week to have an opportunity to speak to the care providers at one of their regular meetings with Health and Care colleagues.  My main messages were to says thanks, well done, and we will be with you in exactly the same way in the winter ahead.  We had some pretty dire predictions of infection levels and staff illness and absence in March and early April, which did not come to pass, principally because they and our colleagues put in some very targeted and effective measures which kept the show on the road; we are doing the same again to ensure that the winter passes safely. The virtual event worked well, with well over 150 attendees, which gives an indication of the size and complexity of the effort. 

I’m also delighted that we are continuing with the Dignity in Care Awards this year, also in a virtual format.  This is an excellent opportunity to recognise the efforts of carers across Staffordshire.  It is, I think, a unique enterprise, in that it gives equal attention to professional and voluntary carers, which, in my opinion is very important.  As we recover from the Covid pandemic, there is an opportunity to build upon the raised profile that care has as a profession and activity; events such as the Dignity in Care Awards offer a real platform to achieve that.    

Dignity in Care Awards

Monday, February 10th, 2020

I was delighted with the response to the invitation to submit entries for the MJ Awards.  It was a change in tactics from previous years, where SLT selected entries, allowing you to shout directly about what you are doing.  I know of six entries, and the ones which were shared with me before submitting were all excellent, full of energy and justifiable pride.  Let’s see how we do in the judging, but I’m expecting a number to make it to the short list stage.  If and when that happens, we will give you every assistance in preparing for the face-to-face interviews, in order that you are lifting the trophies on the night. 

Staying on the awards theme, we are delighted to present the 2020 Staffordshire Dignity in Care Awards, to promote, recognise and reward those people who treat others with dignity and whose actions make a real difference and serve as an example to others,. The awards are now in their 6th year and are organised by the Care Market Development Team. We welcome nominations from anyone who receives support and care in Staffordshire, their families, friends, and / or those who provide care and support to Staffordshire citizens.  I think that these awards are unique in that they recognise voluntary carers and professionals in the same event.  This is entirely in line with our strategy of Doing our Bit; we couldn’t work without the voluntary carers, and we also need a vibrant, valued and capable professional sector to look after our most vulnerable residents.  Find out how you can nominate someone for an award.Dignity