Care professionals: masters of the bottom-up solution
‘Pioneers of social care’ was how Dr Claire Royston described the care professionals who attended the Best Practice conference in Birmingham on September 20.
Organised by Caring Times and sponsored by Four Seasons Health Care, the event brought together dozens of examples of forward-thinking and best practice from care homes across the country.
In her keynote address Dr Royston, who is group medical director for Four Seasons, said care homes needed to raise awareness of the many initiatives being taken to improve the lifes of elderly people and those with special needs.
“There are wonderful things happening in the sector but we don’t always shout about it,” said Dr Royston.
“It is a huge problem that many in the NHS feel that only they have the answers and that they need to tell the care sector what to do.
“We are all pioneers and it is our responsibility to say, not that we are better than the NHS, but that we are different; that we are really good at developing bottom-up solutions.”
Dr Royston said that care homes and the NHS faced the common challenge of increasing demand and limited resources, quoting a recent national newspaper story which said demand for care home places was likely to increase by 86% over the next 20 years.
“We must face the challenge of increasing dependency and clinical need of residents in the context of constrained funding, combined with the imperative of providing the right care for each resident.
“We need to stretch our imaginations to come up with individual solution; that’s what we’re good at, that’s what we do and we need to shout about it.”
Caring Times editor-in-chief Dr Richard Hawkins said he hoped the Best Practice conference would become an annual event.
“Care home professionals need a forum where they can meet and share best practice across all facets of what they do,” said Dr Hawkins.
“We have much to be proud of. Sharing our knowledge and experience and spreading best practice throughout the sector can only help to counter the negative image we see so often portrayed in the national media.”