Adult Social Care: Views from the Sector - Carers Trust East Midlands
Carers Trust East Midlands provide a variety of care services across England, having recently expanded beyond their East Midlands base. As well as providing care themselves, they also work to support carers and offer respite services free of charge. In the UK, 4.27 million people juggle work and care and the majority of these carers are aged between 50 and 64. CEO Christine Alexander highlights the issues facing the sector and explains how promoting and supporting volunteers can help to ease budget pressures.
"The subject of integration has long been debated, and we know that the keenly awaited green paper will help to focus our minds on finding solutions to the many and complex issues in the health and social care sector.
"The complexity of the problems facing this country are significant. The data around the ageing population and reduced resources is well-documented, well-debated and indisputable.
"Those of us who have worked in this sector for most of our working lives can see the extraordinary crisis that looms, while at the same time knowing that solutions can only be found by invigorating our communities to create a groundswell of activity.
"Carers Trust East Midlands has long believed that the answers and solutions lie within our communities. Whether rural villages or urban streets in towns and cities, we know that something needs to change.
"We are developing our models of service to be easy to access, easy to use, bespoke to individual needs and responsive to change. For example, when thinking of our elderly citizens, we want care provision not to be about where a person should be sent because of their needs but to focus on what a person needs in order to be as comfortable as possible where they choose to be.
"We need a call to action to harness the humanity that exists within our communities to facilitate innovative intervention by volunteers of all types and ages so that expensive and complex face-to-face care can be targeted to where it is most needed. This will reduce our dependency on the resource-thirsty contracts currently commissioned within the health and social care sectors.
"Volunteers are already playing a role in society behind the scenes. Our main job as experienced providers in this sector is to inspire and organise them so that the most expensive resources can be targeted where, and when, they are most needed.
"Our determination to be part of a whole-system solution has driven us to undergo a transformational change, underpinned by research and data analysis. We now operate in many areas of England, not just the East Midlands, leading us to re-brand in the coming months. Our work is opening doors of opportunity to understand the concept that one size does not fit all. We need to take account of local culture, demographics and economy. We look forward to being part of the debate and the solution."