This is the time of year when the different political parties hold their annual conferences. We hear party leaders laying out their plans for the future and how they are going to change the current situation and make it better for everyone. Working in health and social care, you will be familiar with the impact of policy change and how not all of these ‘changes’ result in better outcomes for everyone.
September saw the Government announcing that NHS hospitals would be publishing the numbers of staff working in each area / ward so that patients can be reassured that standards were being upheld. If only we could have complete confidence that quantity equals quality. Time will tell whether this particular policy does effect the change needed to raise standards of care.
For social care September saw Skills for Care launch the Social Care Commitment through which the sector promises to provide safe, high-quality services to people who need social care. The commitment will play a key role in helping to improve public trust in the social care sector. To this end, from December 2013 the public will be able to use the Social Care Commitment website to see which Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered and non-registered providers have signed up.
So what does it mean? Well for employers, individual employers (i.e. those employing personal assistants) and care workers, making the commitment means pledging to complete tasks that support seven statements focussing on values and behaviours.
The employer commitment is a promise to:
1. Recruit staff who care
2. Provide thorough induction training
3. Help staff develop their skills
4. Make sure staff understand safety and quality standards
5. Take responsibility for how staff work
6. Supervise staff properly
7. Support staff who put their commitment into practice everyday
The employee commitment is a promise to:
1. Work responsibly
2. Uphold dignity
3. Work co-operatively
4. Communicate effectively
5. Protect privacy
6. Continue to learn
7. Treat people fairly
Once an employer has signed up to the Commitment they will be given a ‘Learning through Work’ resource to embed the commitment into the workforce. As I have written about all of these areas in previous blogs they should come as no surprise to the sector and to some extent it is sad to think that they are not already embedded into the practice of everyone working in the sector.
So if you work in social care ask your employer about the Social Care Commitment and get involved in raising the standards and public perceptions of social care.
For more information and to sign up visit www.thesocialcarecommitment.org.uk
Until next time …..