The Important Role of Nurses and Care Staff in Adult Social Care
Back in February 2020, it was announced that Professor Deborah Sturdy OBE was appointed as strategic advisor for social care nursing – the first role of its kind to exist in the UK.
The creation of this role within the industry is a significant milestone which has highlighted the importance of nurses working in adult social care. Most of us assume that nurses only work in GP surgeries and hospitals but in reality, there are a large number of nurses that are needed to work in the adult social care sector to help operate the care services outside of the hospital environment.
One could argue that without these Intermediate and long term nursing Care services, the hospitals would come to a complete stand still. Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said:
“I am thrilled with Professor Sturdy’s appointment. As proven by her esteemed career, including her role at The Royal Hospital Chelsea , a member of Care England, Deborah is a force for good and a champion for care home nurses.
Care home nurses are often under valued and do not have a sufficient voice, I hope that this appointment will correct this anomaly and go some way in maintaining the long term future of adult social care in conjunction with the NHS. I was particularly pleased that The Chief Nurse the Deputy Chief Nurse and Professor Sturdy were able to meet with Care England members last week to discuss the issues around social care nursing”.
What are Intermediate Care services?
These services are in place to support the need for available beds to help serve those that are requiring a higher level of hospital care, whilst those that have been treated and are recovering, or can be treated outside of a hospital ward can still receive a high level of quality care by trained health care professionals to meet the needs of their condition, just in a different environment.
The services offered outside of the hospital (not including routine check-ups) include ‘hospital avoidance’ (or IC step up) for vulnerable adult patients who can be treated outside of the hospital) and moving recovering patients into an ‘out of hospital’ care centre or Intermediate Care (IC step down), and for rehabilitation.
Wessex Care have been accommodating Intermediate Care services for many years to help care for vulnerable adults that no longer require acute hospital care or treatment. Our nurses and care staff play a vital role to support these members of our community.
We heard a lot of comments thrown around in the media earlier in 2020 about ‘unskilled’ workers and unfortunately, many aspects of the care industry, particularly the army of Healthcare Assistants, are often labelled as being part of this ‘category’.
In light of recent events, it is safe to say that now more than ever, we are reliant on those very same, so called, ‘unskilled’ workers, (actually low paid highly skilled workers)to help keep our society going, and our nurses supported but the Healthcare Assistant army are at the heart of each and every community at present – whether they work in hospitals or care in the community, helping to relieve the pressure on hospitals and keep everybody safe and well.
Why is the Strategic Advisor Role so important in Adult Social Care?
This role has never existed before. The significance of this announcement means that the care provided by nurses within the community, outside of a surgery or hospital environment, has been recognised as being just as important to our health care system as other nursing roles. By helping to treat vulnerable people at home or in a care centre environment such as Wessex Care, it helps to relieve the pressure on our hospitals.
Professor Deborah Sturdy OBE, director of health and wellbeing, will now be able to assist Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer, to ensure that the nurses working in the care sector will have a voice that reaches the top of the nursing profession. She said:
“I am delighted to be taking on this role with Ruth and her team as the first Strategic Advisor on nurses working in Social Care. This is a significant opportunity to shine a light on the important work of nurses across the system. This role affords them a platform for their voice to be heard and included as part of Ruth’s vision for nursing, and to influence the integration agenda more broadly”.