There is no doubt COVID-19 has been a challenge for the care sector.
Who would have thought the sector would be transported into a crisis that would push it to the limits of its capability, resources and capacity.
It’s no secret social care was very low on the political agenda, but yet the sector stuck-in and got on with like it always does.
Its resilience and capacity to cope is admirable. Quite rightly the focus has been, and is, keeping everyone safe, staff and those being cared for. Not an easy task for the sector that has received little, if any, tangible support.
Unfortunately the media and the government have controlled the message. Institutional ‘lip service’ has blurred what is fact. Thankfully the sector’s growing army of opinion formers continue to lay bare the truth and facts about the reality of COVID-19 in social care.
I have personally spoken to many care business owners and registered managers who have spoken of the outpouring of support and understanding.
Others have received a plethora of offers of support and assistance from their local community.
Others have spoken of the tension and mistrust in operational lockdown decisions, largely as a result of listening or reading something in the media.
Generally there has been real sympathy for care workers. I have spoken to many local journalists who have vocalised their respect for the industry due largely to the fact their family member is in a care home, or their relative works in one.
It seems the six degrees of separation theory really does connect us, but does this mark a turning point in greater understanding and awareness about social care?
Absolutely, there is goodwill and a great deal of sympathy for the sector, now is the time to build on this with positive messages. Take control of your own message through carefully crafted news stories, blog posts, and social media posts.
Lack in public confidence is an issue, but people are scared, the lack in confidence isn’t in you as a care provider. By taking control of the message you are taking control of your reputation and of what people think of you.
Now really is the time to develop open communication with your audience.