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Celebrating 72 years of adult social care

Pictured is Julie Wiggins.  She has been a Shared Lives Worker for three years, but prior to that worked within adult social care at Worcestershire County Council for 30 years. Published Friday, 3rd July 2020

The NHS and adult social care turn 72 this year, an opportunity to recognise and celebrate these valuable services.

The NHS and adult social care turn 72 this year, an opportunity to recognise and celebrate these valuable services.

Adult Social Care teams work extremely hard to ensure they offer the best care possible to some of the most vulnerable people across the county.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Worcestershire County Council teams have had to work very differently to provide the care needed and worked very closely with partners, including in the NHS, to ensure the safety of those receiving care and to help reduce the spread of the virus.

Over the years, adult social care has changed to be accommodate new technology, practice and focuses.

The Shared Lives scheme supports adults with learning disabilities or mental health problems, placing them within a family and home environment.

Julie Wiggins has been a Shared Lives Worker for three years, but prior to that worked within adult social care at Worcestershire County Council for 30 years.

“Throughout my life in adult social care, I believe dignity and care has always been apparent but added to that, there is now a focus on positive risk taking, listening and actioning personal choices which makes person centred care very real.” Julie said.

“Over the years, advancement in assistive technology has allowed us to promote more people being able to continue living longer in the community while feeling safe and supported.”

When asked what her favourite aspect of working in adult social care is, Julie said: “It’s the people. I love being able to support carers and the individuals who live with them through challenging times and various obstacles. It’s great to support individuals to meet their full potential and fulfil a meaningful lifestyle.”

Councillor Adrian Hardman, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Adult Social Care said: “Our social workers and staff in adult social care work extremely hard to ensure the most vulnerable people in society are protected and supported.

“Social care has changed a lot over the years, and with advancements in technology and the introduction of a more person-centred approach, Worcestershire is able to help people live dignified and independent lives.”

The COVID-19 outbreak has proven just how much difference key workers make to vulnerable people. Julie said: “I have had to adjust to working remotely for longer periods of time and adjust my ways of working. There have also been the positive changes such as speaking to the households I support via video links as well as having more frequent phone contact with providers.

“Secure, fingertip access to work files even when working remotely enables me to carry on my role effectively and professionals and multi-disciplinary agencies have all come to together at a time like this.”

Join in the celebration of 72 years of the NHS and Adult Social Care in a special Clap for Carers on Sunday July 5 at 5pm.