2020 will be remembered for many things.
For us at Askham, it was not only the year of a crushing pandemic, but the year the reputation of health and social care took a battering. We have a collective responsibility in 2021 to turn this around, not just for the sake of all those who work in the sector, but for all those people who will at some time in their lives need its support.
In the early days of the pandemic, many viewed care settings as places to fear rather than the havens of safety that so many are. We were the unmitigated risk area that the pandemic ravaged and became the poorer, younger brother to the health system that couldn’t afford the PPE needed. When we were finally able to protect those in our care, we were villainised for the risk brought in by external visitors.
For a short time, however, we stood shoulder to shoulder with our colleagues in health care in receipt of national applause – but this parity has been short lived.
We need to open more eyes to the diversity of services, career opportunities, and scope for development and progression in social care. Changing the perception is an ongoing endeavour and we owe it to ourselves, to each other, and to our future colleagues to shout from the rooftops about how brilliant the sector is.
If there is one thing we commit to in 2021, let it be doing everything we can to enhance the reputation of our industry.
This is the column for Care Home Managament Magazine (January 2021). You can find the column in the magazine here.