Well, it’s been another fortnight of conversation, discussion and focus on the woes and worries of our beleaguered sector, not that any of it is news to us. Mr Corbyn has been making his feelings known and Mrs May taking the usual stance. With Valentine’s Day around the corner we still don’t seem to be feeling the ‘love’ – well not yet.

The BBC has had a week of reporting on the NHS and finally it seems the ‘penny might be dropping’ in terms of the interdependent relationship of Health and Social Care. How long has the mantra been ‘if social care fails the NHS suffers’?

Also, you may have seen the article in The Guardian yesterday, an interesting piece that sets out the situation quite comprehensively. There has been a concerted effort to mount pressure on the Government over many previous months, out of the public eye, but now the information is out there and the message is clear. If there is no change in funding, clarification of the law or the approach by HMRC, organisations are going to fail and leave vulnerable people (and their families) in a real mess, simple. It is time for everyone in our society to understand the predicament providers are in – the phrase ‘rock and a hard place’ comes to mind. Clearly, it’s not just a situation that affects providers; people who employ a PA are also at risk.

You may have heard CQC have a consultation open until 14th February on ‘Registering the right support’ – for providers supporting people with a learning disability and/or autism. CQC are reviewing what would be an acceptable service in line with the national plan, ‘Building the right support’, which is to essentially develop community services and close inappropriate inpatient facilities. One wonders what impact the funding landscape has on provider’s ability to be more innovative and keep standards up. I think we know the answer to that, at least the latter.

Please have your say as part of the consultation, your opinion is welcomed and was discussed and encouraged at the CQC Trade Association meeting yesterday. We held a teleconference actually on 1st February with members hosted by CQC, always good to keep the lines of communication open.

Happy Valentine’s Day for Tuesday – whatever that looks like for you. Hopefully, for our sector we will be feeling the love soon!

Lisa Lenton
ARC England Director