A Message From Our iCG Chairman

A Message From Our iCG Chairman…

As a New Year approaches, it’s time to wipe the slate clean after what was a grim 2022!

I will remember last year as an annus horribilis for social care because pretty much if it could go wrong, it did go wrong. Like Gareth Southgate and England, we had set out with such high hopes.

We’ve had our own 30 years of hurt waiting for better funding and reform and maybe this time we would get more money into the sector and action on the care costs cap. But just like our national team at the World Cup, we saw our chances sail high over the bar into the distance once again. We never stop believing though and 2023 offers new hope, new opportunities and new optimism.

My desire for 2023 is that we can work more closely with our partners and get greater dialogue with the Government to start making change. We need to do more to shape our own destinies rather than leave it to the vagaries of politics and the economy to do it for us.

Providers, including those of us here in York and North Yorkshire, have many ideas and suggestions – not least the eradication of needless and time-consuming bureaucracy – to tackle the current crisis and they don’t all involve mega sums of extra cash. We merely ask for an opportunity to share and debate them. Constructive dialogue is required.

The pandemic proved, to some extent, that working together is the only way to tackle a crisis. But as the dangers of covid have receded and been replaced with new threats, like the cost-of-living crisis and extreme staff shortages, everyone has gone back into their bunkers.

In some places we have returned to confrontation and mistrust and that is not a good place. I have now been fortunate enough to meet with Social Care Minister Helen Whately twice and on both occasions have found her willing to listen.

We need to build on meetings like that and seek more. Those aforementioned issues will together pose extreme, existential challenges for social care in 2023 and we cannot tackle them alone. That means working with all our partners, in commissioning, in local and national government and in our own communities to try to bring about change.

What happened in 2022 wasn’t enough to address the 1.6m people who can’t get the care they need or the 165,000 vacancies in the sector. As Winston Churchill put it, ‘Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it’.

Well, we can’t afford to do that in 2023, we haven’t got the time. We need to work together to get reform and we need to do it right away.

Mike Padgham – iCG Chairman