3 min read/Published On: February 4, 2021/565 words/

A new future, not new normal

Suddenly 2021 is already a month old and we find ourselves in February!  As I said recently, hopefully Spring will soon be upon us and COVID-19 will be a thing of the past when we get there.

But what happens when we do get there?

Some of the lessons learnt from the past 11 months have shown all of us that things can be done differently.  We have talked about some of those in this blog before now, but having learnt over the past year, let’s not go back to how things were pre-COVID.

Now don’t get me wrong; whilst there are some very good reasons to start holding team meetings and training sessions in person again to boost morale and to reflect on how hard we have all worked recently, we must carry on using the technology we have put to such good use throughout 2020.  CQC is transforming the way it regulates and inspects, with technology about to play a major role in this transformation.  So, why not be part of it?

One amazing example of this was shared in a recent Lead to Succeed session, where one of the attendees shared how they had used technology with the people they support to stay connected with their friends and family and to take part in activities.

The amazing bit is that this is a day service where sometimes enabling the people they support to engage in activities isn’t always straightforward.  But by using technology, people were able to “connect” with the activities and their friends without leaving their home and as such it did not cause the same level of anxiety it sometimes does!

What was clear was, that without the external driver of COVID, the idea to use technology in this way probably would not have come about.  Having an external stimulus prompted the COVID creativity we have blogged about before, resulting in a positive impact on the lives of the people we support.  This creativity and solution-focussed approach must be allowed to continue.  Grey Matter Learning has been using technology to provide solutions for 15 years.  We would love your thoughts and feedback on how you think the use of technology can continue to play a role in Social Care and Health.

Not “New Normal” – but New Future

One thing has become abundantly clear to me is that the whole country now knows how important social care is and what a vital role we play in the very fabric of society.  It is great therefore that Jeremy Hunt is now talking about a ten year plan for social care – this has to happen.

However, we have been talking about 2030 and how many extra care workers we need for ages; the only difference now is that 2030 is not actually that far away.

So let’s make it the new future, not just the new normal.  Let’s get the ball rolling by changing how we describe ourselves, how about: Social Care and Health, instead of Health and Social Care, as a starter for ten.  We have all seen the statistics that social care supports ten times the number of people annually than our health colleagues do, yet on a fraction of the funding (see below).  The NHS has a ten year plan – it is now time for parity.

Social care funding

Thanks to UKHCA (United Kingdom Home Care Association) for giving permission to use their slide,

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