Deal, no deal
By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson
The merger of the National Care Association (NCA) with the English Community Care Association (ECCA) has been called off.
The intended merger was announced last August and scheduled to happen on 1st January this year. It hasn’t happened and it isn’t going to happen (although ECCA has gone ahead with a name-change and is now ‘Care England’). Last week the NCA removed any doubt by announcing it was pulling out of the merger and would paddle its own canoe for the forseeable future.
This is not the first time that two provider associations have teetered on the brink of union – about 15 years ago the NCA was left standing at the altar when the Registered Nursing Home Association failed to turn up for the ceremony, having had second thoughts at the eleventh hour.
The NCA and Care England have somewhat refined the non-merger process, keeping the sector guessing for five months and talking quietly of a ‘transition year’. Well, now we know the deal’s off. The Care Providers’ Alliance (CPA) – a loose association of associations – remains as a fig leaf for the sector’s disunity and is perhaps doing some good work behind the scenes – conferring with government agencies and so on, but if it has actually achieved anything, it is making remarkably little noise about it. But then, fig leaves are all about modesty.
The various associations say they are each finely attuned to their membership and can lobby most effectively for their interests and that may well be true, but there must have been compelling reasons for a merger to have been contemplated. The problem is, so often the multifarious bodies are giving essentially the same message to government, that ponderous edifice with hundreds of years’ experience at shrugging-off that which it would rather not hear from little voices. The care sector needs clout, and we don’t have much of that in the present set up.
– The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.