Last week’s weather was certainly interesting, not to mention record breaking. Congratulations to everyone for making through – especially to those on the trains who managed to make it home on Thursday! It’s typically British to moan about the weather, but of course, on a serious note extremity of temperatures poses real issues and risks for vulnerable people. I’d like to recognise the great work of my colleagues across adult social care for their hard work to keep our residents safe during last week’s heatwave, and for the inevitable heatwaves still to come.
It’s a busy time here at Central Bedfordshire Council, with preparing for budget setting on the agenda and taking up most of my time now, as I am sure is the case for many of my fellow DASSs. However, as I slowly work my way through emails upon my return from holiday, I am reminded of the events of last week and the impacts that these could have on the future of adult social care.
Brexit poses several potential challenges to adult social care as we edge closer to what looks like a now certain October 31 deadline – deal or no deal. Our care markets remain fragile; we recently had a potential sale of Barchester fall through with the buyer blaming the uncertainty caused by Brexit as the reason. And we all have added concerns about the impact Brexit could have on our already stretched workforce. At ADASS we are continuing to engage with the DHSC to work through the potential issues we face with the possibility of a no-deal Brexit to minimise disruption as much as possible including ensuring the availability of medicine, which will be vital for our vulnerable residents.
So, we are moving quickly and this week we’ve already written to the Prime Minister, Matt Hancock, Robert Jenrick – our new Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, and Caroline Dinenage to get their assurances on the future of our short term funding, workforce strategy, additional funding for winter pressures, and of course Brexit. The Prime Minister himself has made several announcements already around his desire to “sort out adult social care”, so I’m hopeful this could be an opportunity for us to work with the government and make a real difference.
I think the uncertainties around the new government, care markets, winter, heat waves are also providing opportunities and there seems to be a different tone to our conversations with Civil Servants in relation to the short term and longer-term funding for social care.
As we come into August, wherever you are going I hope those of you off on your holidays enjoy a very well-earned break. Finally, congratulations to Cath Roff, DASS at Leeds, who is the newly elected ADASS Trustee.