Regular News – 7th June 2021

                                                                                       Lucy Nichol
                                                                                       Monday 5th July 2021



Hello again! We hope you’re all well and enjoying the start of July. It’s been an interesting couple of weeks for health and social care, with the resignation of Health Secretary Matt Hancock and the appointment of Sajid Javid into the role. So what might this mean for social care? As you might imagine, there have been lots of thoughts and opinions flying around the media space on this one!

Read on to hear the latest news, topics for debate and, as always, a softer article to end on a nice note.


The appointment of a new health secretary

 Nobody could have escaped the recent news about Matt Hancock’s resignation and Sajid Javid’s subsequent appointment as health secretary. Hancock announced the news on Twitter with a copy of his resignation letter on 26thJune.

 There has been a lot of opinion on his suitability for the role, with social care coming up in many news articles. Prospect Magazine argues that he is ideally placed to fix the social care crisis, meanwhile, the Guardian outlines the ‘giant challenge of social care’ that Javid must resolve.


Funding and remuneration

In Scotland, it has been announced that social care personal assistants are to receive a £500 ‘thank you’ payment for their work. They are the last remaining group to receive the bonus payment for health and social care workers which was announced in November last year. The article picks up on the importance of personal assistants and the challenges the government faces engaging them due to them not needing to be registered like other social care workers.

 Community Care has reported that the government has extended Covid funding for adult social care three days before existing funds were due to run out. These funds have been designed to help providers maintain staffing levels while controlling infections. However, while funding is obviously a good thing, the implications of this last minute confirmation has prompted criticism. What might those implications be? 

Back in Scotland, there has also been an announcement of an £8m funding package designed to support the wellbeing of health and social care staff. What interventions might be beneficial for those working on the frontline in social care during the pandemic and beyond?


Recruitment and Skills

The I Paper reports that health and social care providers are losing staff in seaside areas as hospitality opens up again and newly opened supermarkets are luring staff away with better pay. While we know funding is a huge issue in our sector, are there other ways that social care providers might be able to attract and retain staff?

 Meanwhile, Nursery World reports that statistics from the first quarter of 2021 show that the number of childcare providers has fallen.


The gender gap in unpaid childcare

An international study has found that women across the globe provided as much as 173 additional hours of childcare during the pandemic compared to 59 additional hours for men. Read more on the analysis from the Centre for Global Development here.


And finally….

To end on a softer note, here’s a Day in the Life of a Childminder from York Family Information Services. These kinds of diaries are a nice way to provide a taster of life as a childminder – or any other role in social care – and can be written or filmed or provided as a photo diary.

We hope you enjoyed this week’s round-up and that it’s given you inspiration for your own blogs, vlogs or articles!  Let us know if you have something that you'd like to share at [email protected]  This is YOUR network, after all!

We’ll be back in touch in a fortnight’s time with more news and views from the world of social care.