Social care leader slams ‘institutional prejudice’
Care Forum Wales chair Mario Kreft has hit out against what he calls the ‘institutional prejudice’ towards private companies providing services for vulnerable people.
Speaking at a meeting of the Five Nations group, which represents social care providers from the four home countries and Eire, Mr Kreft said outdated attitudes were blighting the sector at a time when the need for collaboration and partnership had never been greater.
“Unfortunately, there is a significant degree of unfair institutional prejudice against the independent sector here in Wales and elsewhere in the UK and Ireland,” said Mr Kreft.
“There are still many people who appear to resent the fact that independent providers need to be financially viable to stay in business and provide high quality services. I was talking to a nurse recently who left the NHS and joined a very reputable private sector organisation and already she feels her former colleagues are treating her as if she had gone to work for a second class organisation.
“It is just intolerable that people working in social care and providing such important services are not better valued. “We really should learn from the no-blame culture of the aviation industry where people truly work in partnership to make sure planes don’t fall out of the sky. We need a new spirit of partnership so the independent sector can work with the NHS, local authorities and other partners to get things fixed.
“The Social Services and Well-being Act which comes into force on April 6 is a positive development in Wales and provides a glimmer of hope that the corrosive prejudice against the independent sector that pervades social care can be overcome so that we can build relationships and support best practice within the sector.”
Mr Kreft said regulators, commissioners and the independent sector needed to find a new way of working that recognised the value and outcome of services.
“The governments in all five counties could do more to really integrate the independent sector,” he said. “They’re all trying, they’re all well-intended but it’s not developing the effective partnerships we need.”