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Moving through 2022 – we absolutely know that every ounce of our approach to care, centred on the person has changed exponentially. We have come through our own storm that brought care home team members and their leadership teams to their knees. 

During wave two I posted on a care home managers Facebook page that nobody failed – nobody should wear the stain of shame or feel the guilt of inadequacy – everyone did everything they could – every day and yet there was an almost two tier approach to outbreaks in homes. 

The people who felt they ‘kept Covid out’ who believed they had managed to ‘stop Covid in its tracks’ were overjoyed and happy to share their wins whilst others drowned in confusion, pain, guilt, shame and self-loathing. It was to the latter group my initial message was written – telling each and every one that they had done the very best they could and so much more. The response to the message was unprecedented- so many care home teams & home managers saying they needed to be told they hadn’t failed, needed to be assured it wasn’t they who invited the pandemic in through their doors, to tear through the people who lived and worked there – they needed assurance that they were not to blame, that the guilt and shame were not theirs to feel and they appreciated that message. 

Today of course following more waves there are few homes now who have not been visited by Covid 19 and thankfully the impact of the virus has slowed in many places and we are beginning to accept Covid 19 as an endemic issue that we will continue to work to reduce whilst also ensuring we begin really living again. 

It’s the leaders who felt it all during the storm – that will be the future of social care – the ones who were open and honest in their learning – digging into resilience they never knew they had – it’s these leaders who will lead social care through the next phase. 

Care home teams learned they were ‘somebody’ they were important to local communities and the NHS and it is now that we must all ensure we continue to build on the shared platforms we have created due to the crisis- we have more contact in many areas now with our CCG partners – we have forged relationships with consultants and support networks that would never have happened without the crisis forcing us all to speak, to listen, to understand and to work together. 

It’s now that we must; as social care teams lean in to our community and NHS colleagues to truly create change as we move through 2022 and beyond. 

It is through these relationships, these touch points and these shared learning opportunities that we will truly make a difference to the people we serve – both people who live with us and work with us – they deserve this – they deserve us not to go back to how it used to be – a divided set of services working in silo – we cannot and will  not return to ‘before’ instead, we will continue to build our foundations- with the person at the centre of all that we all that we are and all that we do – no going back. 

The road forward is paved with the gold of learning, of mistakes, of gratitude, of love for the people we support and we are all on the same road, going in the same direction and we will continue to learn but most of all we will rise and we will get better and better and we will continue to show up and we will continue to evolve to create the joint rainbow – one conversation, one meeting, one step at a time. 

The Outstanding Society would love to hear from you – to hear stories of how you worked jointly with our NHS and LA colleagues during the Covid 19 pandemic – we would love for you to share your experiences and how you will take the learning and continue to grow. 

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