Let’s be honest, the media’s portrayal of getting old in the UK is not encouraging. It does not fill you with confidence. Endless budget cuts and stories of neglect dominate headlines.
Glimmers of hope exist; proactive Local Authorities and organisations are transforming their organisations to deliver better services despite the austerity. The core situation does need to be addressed. The government hopes to deliver mainstream transformation across the sector with the Green Paper. The Paper will be presented this summer by Jeremy Hunt and is based on seven guiding principles but will it make a difference or provide a new sticking plaster?
A Growing Problem
Growing old should be a privilege for those that have served their country and worked for endless years. They should be able to retire and enjoy life, spend their days on long walks, lazy holidays and spoiling their Grandchildren. They should not be spending hours in bed, waiting for ongoing Social Care provision to escape their hospital surroundings. This is not person-centred care and does not correspond to the ideals of enjoying your twilight years in peace. We believe that we owe this to citizens to re-pay them for a lifetime of work and serving their country.
Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be.
Jeremy Hunt used this famous quote during a recent speech in which he outlined the seven principles on which the Green Paper will be based. The famously optimistic line by Robert Browning was used by Mr. Hunt, who went on to say that it, ‘might seem out of place to many worried about how we will cope with an ageing population,’ and it is true. The best for many will seem like it is behind them but this doesn’t need to be the case.
The UK is the 6th wealthiest country in the world. It turns over trillions of pounds each year and despite the challenges of Brexit has a bright future ahead of it, but is wealth a true measure of how we should judge society? Are we civilised if we cannot effectively care for the most vulnerable members of society? The true litmus test of society is how we care for those most in need, for the elderly, disabled and sick. Social Care plays a huge part in caring for the most vulnerable and it needs a change. It needs to be streamlined through the use of technology and change management.
The Green Paper
The seven principles that Mr. Hunt discussed within his speech were:
2. Whole-person integrated care
5. Supporting families and carers
6. A sustainable funding model for social care supported by a diverse, vibrant and stable market
7. Security for all.
These principles are a firm foundation for what care can become. Forward thinking Local Authorities and care organisations are already investing in, supporting and delivering change, but this is not the mainstream.
When the Green Paper is introduced, we need positive action. We need to embrace new ways of working to ensure that these principles are implemented correctly. It is one thing to present these ideas in a paper format but it is another to see them effectively utilised.
Discussing the principles in more detail, Mr.Hunt concluded his speech by focusing on how these principles would be achieved. The first point that he focused on was innovation.
Innovation is going to be central to all of these principles: we will not succeed unless the changes we establish embrace the changes in technology and medicine that are profoundly reshaping our world.
We wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Hunt and have been echoing these sentiments for years. Innovation is key to every aspect of life. By not adapting to innovations and new technologies, you will not make Social Care fit for the future.
Technology holds the keys to freedom in Social Care and will be able to unlock savings and efficiencies that could only be dreamed of a few years ago. Here is where we will unlock the wisdom and reforms that the Green Paper will suggest. This is the battleground for the sustainable future that we all hope Social Care will find. By utilising the efficiencies of technology, The Green Paper can renew confidence in the country’s care and support system.
Mr. Hunt finished his speech with a quote and it is one that we feel effectively personifies the goals of the Green Paper and we wanted to share;
Let me finish by quoting the words of Fauja Singh, who at a mere 100 years of age became the oldest person ever to complete a marathon: “Anything worth doing”, he said, “is going to be difficult.”
We do believe that what faces the sector is going to be difficult, but let’s kick ourselves into action. We are here to support you and make it easier. We do believe that we have an opportunity, and if we get this right the best is yet to be.