As we move into easing of lockdown, reopening businesses and returning to school, the risk is that we slip back to where we were in adult social care. Under-funded, under-appreciated, and generally regarded as low-skilled.

It is therefore incumbent on all of us working in adult social care to keep the good news stories about our key workers firmly in the spotlight, so that it is not possible for policy makers to ignore us. Each organisation, however, needs to speak of its own unique set of experiences as no one sweeping statement fits all, as the Prime Minister has just found out.

At Dementia Matters we have had no cases of Covid 19 in any of our services, or in any of our staff teams. This does not happen by accident. Our dedicated and professional staff teams have acted selflessly and with no complaint. Our management teams have ensured that our staff have access to PPE from day one, had regular updates on best practice, have been supported throughout around welfare and mental health.

Our furloughed staff have accepted the situation with good grace, but also continued to engage with us around mental health, training and keeping up to date with news of current developments in the charity.

None of this happens by accident.

The Senior Management Team have met remotely every day at 10 a.m since the middle of March. The Board of Trustees have met weekly since the end of March until this week, where we have moved to monthly Board meetings, with monthly Committee meetings around Risk, Care and Finance. All of the way through the pandemic we have completely fulfilled our regulatory and legal obligations. We have continued to undertake staff reviews and appraisals, continued with training, continued with team meetings, albeit remotely, and continued to engage with our regulators and commissioners. All of this in addition to running an organisation in crisis from the Covid 19 pandemic.

The Commitment and professionalism from all staff has been demonstrated by our clean bill of health from Covid 19. This is expressed so much better, however, in the words of our Head of Services towards the end of March, “Nobody is setting foot in my building from hospital without a negative test”.

None of these things happen by accident, and this is why those that work in adult social care can never be allowed to be described as unskilled again.

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