By Jamie McGeechan
Scottish Care hosted a Workforce Matters Frontline event on 21st September with an engaged and enthusiastic workforce from across the country in attendance at the Renfield Centre in Glasgow.
The event proved to be a hugely insightful day where members of frontline workforce could engage, share their experiences and learn from each other as well as our distinguished guests.
The event was opened by Katharine Ross, National Lead for Workforce for Scottish Care who welcomed those in attendance to the event along with Elaine MacMaster Workforce Consultant.
Speakers at the event included Alan Baird, the Chief Social Worker Advisor to the Scottish Government who gave a personal and thoughtful presentation to delegates focussing on the hugely critical role of the front line workforce in care. Alan paid tribute to the dedication of the workforce as well as their passion and highlighted that everyone who cares has the ability to truly change the lives of others and that they must recognise within themselves their ability to change the world. Mr Baird shared insights and his experience of his own family receiving care and how grateful he was for the quality of that care and the difference it made to his whole family.
Edith Macintosh, Rehabilitation Consultant with the Care Inspectorate gave an engaging presentation on physical wellness and the need for the workforce to look after their own needs as well as the people they support and care for. Edith stressed the importance that we keep ourselves fit in order to truly provide the best quality of care of those we look after. Edith gave the delegates food for thought with suggestions on ensuring physical wellbeing including nutritional concerns, exercise and sleep.
The day took a lighthearted and fun turn with a session led by Vivian Wallace. Vivian who works as an Aging Well Coordinator with Midlothian Council had the whole room on their feet as the group indulged in some Samba style dancing inspired by the Olympic Games in Rio earlier this year. Vivan educated the delegates on the hugely positive benefits of movement and dance on the wellbeing of workforce as well as those they care for and much fun was had by all.
Delegates took part in a number of workshops led by Scottish Care team members which had delegates discussing topics and issues such as “What does wellness mean to me?”, “What do you need to experience wellness?” and “How could I improve my wellness?” These workshops proved to be hugely thought provoking and useful as delegates shared their own personal experiences from the frontline and with many able to relate to similar experiences and shared understanding working in care.
After a short refreshment break Neil McLeod, Equality Advisor from the SSSC provided the delegates with a thought provoking presentation focussing on skills current and future of the frontline workforce. Neil led an inspired and engaging discussion as to what the workforce might look like in the future in terms of skill set and how organisations might best equip their workforce for the challenges of the future.
Dr Donald MacAskill, Chief Executive of Scottish Care gave the final presentation of the day which was an illuminating and fascinating perspective on the wellbeing of the workforce with Dr Macaskill discussing focusing on physical,mental and emotional burnout and how we can best ensure that we best care for ourselves. This was best summed up by the revelation that ” It’s not selfish to look after ourselves, in this sector it’s selfish to not look after ourselves.”
Thank you to all who came along to this hugely engaging and positive event and we hope you will consider attending future Workforce events, you can find information about upcoming events at www.scottishcare.org/workforce-matters
Upcoming Workforce events include ‘The Spirit Beyond the Letter’ which is being held at the The Renfield Centre on Tuesday 1st November from 11am – 3:45pm.