Care Home Week 17: Blog from Paul O’Reilly (Workforce Development Consultant)

Since beginning my role as Workforce Development Consultant with Scottish Care in March this year I have been so impressed by the dedication and passion exhibited by the many people I have met from organisations across the country.

In particular, the enthusiasm for delivering the highest standards of care by our front line colleagues has been humbling and energising.

Scottish Care’s Workforce Groups have been very well attended by representatives of every level within services. From Directors and Managers of services, the commitment to improving the experience for every one involved (both those receiving care and their families, to their own employees) has been evident and so encouraging. The positive attitude to innovation and the extra lengths services are prepared to go to in order to ensure people receive care and support that truly addresses their needs is something that we need to be more vocal about.

We have a sector full of ideas, energy and courage. Having the bravery to attempt new things when gaps in provision are apparent and there is little or no resource to fill them shows just how caring the Independent Sector is.

There will be other blogs this week which capture this, not least the one by Alison McPherson. Alison is Home Manager at Hillview Care Home and has prepared a blog that I would insist everyone should read. I will say no more than that as I could not do it justice!

While the commitment to care of senior staff has been so refreshing, as I said at the beginning of this piece, I have been most impressed by the front line workers that I have met and heard speak at groups and events.

We live and work in a time where the number of people requiring care is increasing daily. With this comes the heightened responsibilities of providing more and more critical levels of care to individuals who are living in their own homes longer. As a result, an increasing number of individuals are moving into care homes at a point where needs are far more complex than in previous times.

Despite the amount of differing pressures that our workforce are faced with each hour of every day, the dedication to improve the lives of everyone they work with has been imprinted on our Workforce Groups like words through a stick of rock.

From workers acting as Dementia Ambassadors attending our Promoting Excellence Group and speaking with such conviction and passion about what they do, would like to do, and what needs to happen to enable it – to care at home and care home colleagues speaking with such care and compassion about the palliative and end of life care they provide so frequently and want to improve on, it is evident that our workforce have the knowledge and drive to care for us all long into old age and beyond.

At a time when care services are more embattled by challenges than ever, the voices of the workforce tell me that we are in good, caring, hands.

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