PRESSURE? WHAT PRESSURE? (A VIEW FROM TODAY'S WINDOW LEDGE)
Health & Social Care is in great need of a massive shot in the arm – we hope you all agree.
There is a “perfect storm” coming our way created by high and low pressure converging on a sector already battling poor public perception, a recruitment black hole and perpetual strong winds of political rhetoric from those who should know better. Is anyone actually doing anything to help though?
A combination of pressure on fee income against increases in labour costs and more and yet more compliance. We have our very own triad of impairment stifling the sector.
Anyone disagree with this so far?
So, as an example, let me share our last 30 days with you. It’s not a rant but a reflection on our real world.
- Energy and focus on local authority frameworks and tenders in disarray, unrealistic and overburdened with prescriptive demands that are one sided and limit the creativity of providing an exemplary service. Hour upon hour given free of charge in responding and with no guarantee of work. No other sector would be prepared to do this without recouping the cost in their margins or upfront charges. Not much chance of that for us though
- A conveyor belt of compliance visits within the 30 days across just two of our locations concerning Food Safety, Fire inspections (complete with big red fire engine and six fully clad firemen which did in fact go down quite well with some staff), local authority compliance audit and two, yes two, CQC inspections. So many that we have had to order a new visitors book because it was full!
- The addressing of the Living Wage reboot and financial impact on the organisation. Who is paying, we have been absorbing costs for a long time so will investment in the sector be delayed?
- Chasing a three month delay in completion of a DBS for what was a new starter as the police authority element of the checks are “under duress and have a backlog of 12-14 weeks” so our new employee has reached the end of probation and still no DBS. Is anyone out there in the ivory towers helping and supporting us?
The good news is that we passed all our audits and inspections, have most of the tenders and frameworks at final stages and have someone who now has completed all their care certificate training while waiting for the DBS. We just have frazzled managers and staff!
But of course, don’t worry– we do this job because we want to and despite all that, we will persevere – bring it on!