I was invited to participate in the judging of the Scottish Care Awards this year and I was hugely honoured to represent Healthcare Improvement Scotland ihub but from a more personal perspective I have worked in Housing for 16 years and landed in Health with a bang in February – so all of a sudden I was immersed in a world that was so connected to wellbeing and delivering critical services to us all regardless of your means.
I firmly believe that good, stable housing is an essential firm foundation in which we all thrive and reach our potential. I also know how hugely valuable our community-based services are – they help people to live independently at home for as long as possible. When I worked at the front line of housing I used to meet lots of people during my day, you knew the community you worked with and you knew the value you brought. Reviewing the submissions was emotive for me because of my work experience; just when I thought I was moved for the last time, I would read another submission and be struck by the compassion, care and thoughtfulness of the providers but also the gratitude and contentment of the people they served. Care cannot be viewed in isolation or contained within one environment – care is mobile, adjustable and resilient to change and we must not let our organisational structures get in the way of delivering the most fundamental of purposes.
Care is not simply about needs – it is about the contribution it makes to lives. Care is what humanises us all and is the greatest gift we can give.
Portfolio Lead (Place, Home & Housing)
Healthcare Improvement Scotland