“People are living longer and with more complex conditions so a demand for residential care homes will always be an important part of the care environment. I believe the greatest threat to the sector would be if providers fail to demonstrate a more inspirational care proposition than that currently perceived by the public. If we are unable to do so as providers, the demographic and funding pressures that exist today will hold the sector in a singular focus on driving down cost – reaching a point where nobody gets value for money on such an important service.
“So as a sector we need to earn the public vote to a greater slice of public and private funding, to justify the investment and cost required to improve care for the elderly in this country. That means demonstrating quality – everywhere, everyday. It means creating a service that customers actually choose, however they are funded.
“At the end of the day, people buy people in our sector. There are thousands of carers up and down the country who deliver amazing care. We need to make sure we are able to hold on to them, give them the recognition they deserve, and attract the right management and leadership talent to our sector. Finally, a care home should be seen as a valued hub for support and care by the community around it. That doesn’t just mean beds for those that need them. It means a transparent service that reaches out to support all stakeholders.
“In short, we need to set the example of what could be. If we don’t, we will all be poorer for it.”
This first appeared in the March edition of Caring Times.