We’re delighted to be working with the National Care Forum (NCF) managing their external communication activities. The NCF brings together 120 of the UK’s leading not-for-profit social care organisations and is uniquely positioned to represent and champion the cause of the sector.
Playing a major role as one of the 10 main membership associations of the Care Provider Alliance (CPA), the NCF has brought to the fore some of the key issues affecting providers during the Coronavirus pandemic. It’s release of the data surrounding the number of deaths in care homes, played a significant role in raising the issue with senior government officials to make sure immediate action was taken to focus on the impact of COVID-19 on care homes.
However, together with the NCF and every care association in the country, we believe that more needs to be done to make sure that all aspects of the social care sector - including services supporting people with learning disabilities, mental health, physical disabilities, housing with care, and other types of social care provision - receive the resources, funding and support it needs to fight COVID-19 and its subsequent impact on the sector.
Having managed the media activities for the NCF and also the Care Provider Alliance (CPA) throughout the pandemic, we've used our expertise in crisis communications to proactively engage and work with the media to bring to light the many challenges facing the sector. The external communications activity together with public affairs has greatly influenced the wider work in lobbying the government for action.
On the PR front we’re delighted to have secured over 100 items of media coverage across all the main media outlets of national and regional press, to include trade and sector publications; numerous interviews on TV and radio, and also coverage across the main international press and broadcast channels. Click here to read more on the NCF Media Channel.
While on the public affairs front, alongside senior colleagues in the sector we're pleased to see progress and improvement as more attention is given to social care provision and care workers as they work shoulder to shoulder with the NHS.
However, as important as raising the issue to the public has been, an equally important role for communication is to make sure that the message cuts through and brings about a change in national policy and public opinion.
Care providers throughout the country have gone above and beyond in their efforts to care and support people throughout this pandemic and I'm often overwhelmed by the positive stories I hear daily of the sacrifices care providers and their team are making to keep people safe. The majority of people living in care homes have recovered from COVID-19 and are being supported to live quality lives. We hear daily of the excellent work being done throughout the country to connect people with their loved ones and support people to live well.
As we ease out of the lockdown and life returns to a new normal for us all, my wish is that the spotlight on social care will continue to demonstrate the vital role social care plays in partnership with the NHS to protect the health, wellbeing and support needs of our nation.