I am sure the older I get, the quicker time flies by! We are only a few shopping days away from the big day now; I seriously cannot believe we are nearing the end of the year! And so here is the last edition of Real People in 2017.

And what a significant year it has been in so many ways – certainly a year of challenge for the Adult Social Care sector.

The biggest focus in terms of the ‘influence and voice’ element of our work has been, and continues to be, around the sleep in crisis; supporting and representing all of our members at the highest levels of Government, seeking an appropriate resolution. I have just looked back at the ‘Christmas blog’ from last year actually and I wrote “I hope that with the New Year comes some clarification of the law and with it some protection for providers”. Fast-forward a year and unfortunately, the ghosts of Christmas past have not been laid to rest.

Our membership base is a diverse one and this year we have been very well placed to ensure there have been opportunities for providers of all sizes, in each corner of England, to feed in data to highlight the impact of the potential back pay liability – giving decision makers a more comprehensive view of the ‘market’ and giving providers a louder voice. Following all the on-going work on this topic, it is clear that the sleep in nightmare is affecting providers great and small, it is not discriminating – not that that is any comfort at all.

Of course, lately the compliance scheme has been launched and with it another raft of questions and concerns. As providers grapple with the concept and try and figure out the best option for them, we continue to work in collaboration with other umbrella groups, to ‘encourage’ the Government to commit the critical financial support to meet the liabilities faced by providers. We will keep members in the loop! Here’s hoping the Government come up with a late Christmas present for us all and the ghost of Christmas future shines some light on the changes the Government need to make moving forward.

This is all a bit ‘bah-humbug’; there is no denying the mood in the sector is low at the moment. There are lots of depressing facts and figures around but let’s just take a minute to reflect on the positives – it is Christmas after all. Our sector is the most person centric around, it’s the most intrinsically rewarding and it makes such an impact on the quality of life of others. How magical is that?! I doubt you get that buzz anywhere else! So well done to everyone who works so hard and contributes to this amazing sector, it wouldn’t happen without you! Please, don’t lose the ‘faith’. And the support you give to us here at ARC England for the betterment of the sector, the engagement in our work and your valuable collaboration is extremely meaningful – thank you for all of that.

The ARC England team and I wish you a peaceful and joyful Christmas and a very Happy New Year. We will be back with Real People in the New Year outlining our work focus and ways for members to be involved, until then Merry Christmas.

Festive wishes,

Lisa Lenton
ARC England Director