What’s the point of The Social Care Commitment?
By guest blogger JOHN BURTON
The American election reminds me that 50 or so years ago Tom Lehrer sang “National Brotherhood Week” with acid sarcasm (watch it on YouTube). When the population of the USA is so bitterly divided, such superficial, sugary sentiments are as hypocritical now as they were then.
And in England this week we are celebrating the “Social Care Commitment Week”. Why do we pretend that having a week to “celebrate” the “promise to provide people who need care and support with high quality services” will make the slightest difference to anything?
Apparently the Department of Health dreamed up this vacuous proposal, and, always willing to obey its master’s commands, Skills for Care made it their own. Yes, according to SfC, “any employees and employers in adult social care” can sign up.
But, unless you have already made the commitment to give the best care possible, you’re not allowed to run a care service or to work in one, and that doesn’t mean you will give the best care possible. Providers have to promise to provide high quality care to be registered with CQC; it has to say so in their statement of purpose, and then they have to make the same promises over and over again in, for example, every care contract they sign. And employees have to do the same. Some are true to their word. Many, struggle honourably with the knowledge that they sometimes fall short – most of us do. And some cynically sign up to promises they never intend to honour.
What is the point of adding the Social Care Commitment? It doesn’t say anything that hasn’t been said dozens of times before. Repeating a promise is not only tedious, it reduces its strength and credibility. Who do you believe: the person who gives you their word and is true to it, or the person who keeps giving you their word as if to say, “And I really mean it this time.”?
It’s just another example of the “all fur coat and no knickers” world of social care.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.