#SocialCareHour – making a difference to the health and social care industry – The story so far…

sch twitter bground 7#SocialCareHour was set up for two reasons. The first was to try and boost the battle to ensure that all the great news about the fantastic Support Workers and providers is helped to get out into mainstream media to counteract the number of terrible stories we seem to be reading on a daily basis. The other reason was frustration – frustration that there were very few regular opportunities to chat about health and social care and to be able to exchange ideas on how we can make the industry better.
And I think it is safe to say that the industry is broken.

In the two months since #SocialCareHour started, the vast majority of tweets have been from people in the industry who know what is wrong, but don’t know how to fix it. People are frustrated that the care industry seems to be running on the strength of underpaid but passionate people who want to ensure that the elderly and the vulnerable are taken care of, even if it means that they are out of pocket or they have to do it in their own time.

Underfunding, 15 minute calls, the amount of abuse that seems to go on and issues surrounding training are always at the forefront of the discussion and some companies are starting to make a stand. We have heard from a few providers who have refused to take work from their local authority either because of a lack of decent funding or because they refuse to take on the 15 minute calls. With the news that one local authority is offering providers under £9 an hour, these brave companies who are standing up for not only their rights but also the rights of their customers are at the forefront of a revolution that surely has to come sooner rather than later if we are to avoid damaging consequences that will ultimately harm the most vulnerable in our society.

Our #SocialCareHour tweeters are desperate to see change and are working hard to make life for their staff and customers better but to a certain extent, their hands are tied. Turning down contracts affects business and at the moment, the local authority can easily go to another provider who will happily pick up the poorly paid work…but at what end cost? Is the answer to call for more brave providers to step up and refuse to take on work that forces them into making their support workers take on zero hours contracts, forces them into breaking the law and paying less than minimum wage? This is a desperate situation and at the heart of it all are some of the most vulnerable people in society, so why is it that we are allowing these circumstances in this day and age – why are we carrying on as if this is acceptable? What’s so frustrating is that we spend each #SocialCareHour going over the problems but no one seems to have the power to resolve them so in effect, we’re going round in circles.

#SocialCareHour wasn’t just set up as a tool for discussion about all the things that are wrong with the industry, it was set up to try and make a positive difference. We want to hear from all of the care providers out there who ARE making a difference, who are making a stand. If they can share their innovative ideas with others and tell us what works for them – that information can be shared and slowly but surely, we hope to start seeing tangible impact across the board.

Social care providers, commissioners and customers are all encouraged to join the conversation, which takes place on Twitter every Wednesday evening, 8 – 9 pm. Anybody wanting to take part can do so by including #SocialCareHour in each tweet they post. You can find out more by taking a look at the #SocialCareHour website http://www.socialcarehour.co.uk
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#SocialCareHour was developed by Midlands based GD-PR & Media Ltd, an integrated Public Relations, Graphic Design and Video Production company, specialising in Health & Social Care.

Care to Share Magazine volume 1 issue 1

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3 thoughts on “#SocialCareHour – making a difference to the health and social care industry – The story so far…

  1. Hi Social Care Hour,

    Thankyou for this. It seems that we’re kindred spirits in our attempt to provide a platform for those of us who normally don’t get to be heard.

    I do wonder about one comment you made…

    “And I think it is safe to say that the industry is broken”

    I don’t believe that it is ‘broken’ although, like everything else it is imperfect.

    Workers and commentators tend to talk mainly about the things that either are unusual or that they dislike. That’s why when I worked on acute psychiatric wards I may have talked with colleagues fairly regularly about the very rare assaults that happened on the ward. I don’t think we spent long talking about the many hours we spent delivering perfectly effective but undramatic care, administering drugs, attending MDT meetings and performing close obs. etc etc etc

    So when you describe social care as broken I suspect you should have said…

    “We hear about the unsatisfactory parts of an imperfect system. That creates the impression that the care industry is broken.”

    But that’s just my view and as I said in the Editor’s notes – Who cares what I think?

    Perhaps others will give their opinions. Is our industry broken or just in need of a bit of attention?

    Cheers,

    Stuart

    • It may be helpful to stop starving the care sector of funds too. Maybe the problem isn’t so much that we’re broken as that we’re continually being pushed to ‘breaking point’ – but we’re still here, still struggling along, still delivering care.

      And so it continues.

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