Posts Tagged ‘social care and health’

The benefits of ‘Thinking Outside the Box’

Monday, May 20th, 2019

After a week off, it was straight back into it this week, but in a good way.  This week also marks my 4th anniversary in this appointment, which, as well as being an opportunity to reflect, makes this the longest job that I’ve ever done.  In the military, although you stay with the same employer, you never stay longer than 3 years in any one appointment, and usually a lot less.  Looking back on it, I think that they might be missing something, as I now see many of the things that we started in my early days coming to fruition – our renewed focus on delivery, strategy linked more strongly to tactics, a people strategy in place and digital and smart working taking hold.  I’m enormously grateful to all members and colleagues. 

A really good example of linking strategy to tactics came to my attention this week from Alison Hasdell of the Care Market Development Team (CMDT).  Providing Home Care for some of Staffordshire’s most vulnerable residents is one of our most important tasks, and one of the most difficult.  The profession has suffered from a poor reputation as a career, with 40% staff turnover annually, poor morale and the consequent fragility of providers; you simply can’t run an organisation effectively if you’re recruiting, training and exiting close to half your staff every year.  The CMDT have launched a Health & Social Care sector membership package for Staffordshire Care Providers in association with the Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce. This is the first health & social care package developed specifically for businesses in this sector nationally. It offers care providers access to a range of support, guidance and networking to help grow and sustain successful care businesses, drawing on the advice and support of other dynamic Staffordshire business leaders.

We are really proud that the team has forged a partnership with Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce to help Staffordshire care providers recruit and retain staff.   For me, this is a practical example of our people “thinking outside the box”; it involves a bit more effort now, but it will reap benefits in the future. If it is successful in Staffordshire, it could, and indeed should, be rolled out nationwide.

Dignity in Care

Monday, August 14th, 2017

I spent the best part of a day with the carers who look after our most vulnerable people at the annual Dignity Awards, held this year in Newcastle-under-Lyme College. It was an inspiring and humbling experience, meeting both those who care for family members and those whose career is caring. The thing that they all had in common was a selfless commitment to looking after others. Reading out and listening to the citations written for those who were nominated for the awards brought home to me how important it is to celebrate these people and their efforts, often in the face of the most trying of circumstances.

We all read and hear reports in the media of events when care goes wrong, but rarely of when it goes well—I think this needs to change. That said, what sticks in my memory was the modesty and determination of these remarkable people. Prince Philip once said that the Armed Forces were made up of ordinary people doing extraordinary things – the same could be said of our carers.