“they’re places of happiness and comfort...” - Care provider calls for change in the perception of the sector

PUBLISHED: 19:00 12 May 2020

Aliyyah Begum-Nasser, Operations Director at Askham Village Community, is calling for a change in perception of the social care sector. Image: Askham Village Community

Aliyyah Begum-Nasser, Operations Director at Askham Village Community, is calling for a change in perception of the social care sector. Image: Askham Village Community

Archant

A senior spokesperson of a Fenland care provider is calling for society to change its perception of social care and acknowledge more of the sector’s successes during the coronavirus pandemic.

Askham Village Community is a specialist rehabilitation and care community situated on the edge of Doddington, between Peterborough and Cambridge. It is calling for change in perceptions of social care sector during coronavirus crisis. Image: Submitted.Askham Village Community is a specialist rehabilitation and care community situated on the edge of Doddington, between Peterborough and Cambridge. It is calling for change in perceptions of social care sector during coronavirus crisis. Image: Submitted.

Aliyya Begum-Nasser, the operations director at Askham Village Community, near Doddington, is concerned that care homes are being represented as “places of risk” and “under resourced” when there should be fairer reflection on how the sector is coping.

She said: “Whilst there are people living and working in care homes who have suffered from COVID-19, there are many, many more out there continuing to enjoy peaceful, comfortable times – thanks in no small part to the staff working in social care.

“Much of the generic messaging however, presents care homes as places of risk, depicting them as under resourced, with residents consequently under protected.”

She added: “The sector is full of people who are doing their very best in the face of enormous challenge.

“Some have been struggling and these are the ones who, understandably, are making the headlines. However, there are many people in care homes who are continuing to live happy, fruitful, positive lives, supported by staff who care for them and who are keeping them safe.

“We fear though that this aspect is being lost within the wider messaging.”

Askham Village Community provides specialist nursing and care for young people through to the elderly. As well as long-term support and care, it offers day visits and respite for residents.

All five of its care homes have been awarded Good in their recent CQC inspections.

Aliyya said: “At present, the biggest challenge care homes face is keeping our staff motivated and supported to stay rational, to continue to come to work, to feel valued, and to feel protected.

“If we do this right – the rest will fall into place.

“It’s fantastic to see carers included in the weekly round of applause and to see social care put on a par with health care, however some of the messaging serves to undermine this positivity, which then runs the risk of care staff feeling hopeless, emotional, undervalued and unsafe.”

She added: “Of course, PPE is rightly in the spotlight and does play a huge part in reducing the threat of COVID-19, however we all have a part to play in overturning the prevalent view that care homes are places that are high risk and unsafe.

“My experience of the sector, not just at Askham but beyond, is that they’re places of happiness and comfort. By pulling together and recognising this, we can help our social care superheroes to keep it that way.”


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