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72 years of adult social care – how have things changed?

Kim Joy Edmunds, who works in worked in the Sensory Impairment team at Worcestershire County Council. Published Friday, 3rd July 2020

Social workers and key workers across Worcestershire are being celebrated for the 72nd birthday of adult social care.

The adult social care teams in the county work extremely hard to ensure the best care possible is provided to vulnerable people.

During the pandemic, these teams have had to adapt to provide necessary care and worked with partners, such as the NHS to ensure the safety of those receiving care and to help reduce the spread of the virus.

As we recognise 72 years of the NHS and adult social care, it’s a great opportunity to look back at how things have changed.

Kim Edmunds has worked in the Sensory Impairment team at Worcestershire County Council since 2005: “I work predominately with deaf and deafblind people and love the variety as no two people are the same; experience the same impacts or challenges.

“In recent years, I have been working more with people now who either have English as a second language or no formal language at all and in a refugee situation where their culture is completely different to that of Britain."

“The pandemic has affected my job hugely. It is extremely difficult to work with sensory loss unless face to face; we have had to rely more on family/friends/carers providing the crucial information we need to establish how far people are down the pathway of their sight and/or hearing loss.”

Kim has still been attending emergency and urgent jobs where necessary. “This has meant careful planning, risk assessments and PPE being worn. We have undergone PPE training and will continue to strive to maintain social distancing going forward.”

Clever and intuitive technology has been one of the biggest changes for adult social care. “We have to stay abreast of things such as Assistive Technology and providing this, alongside other equipment as rehabilitation to adjust to their sensory loss is key.”

Councillor Adrian Hardman, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Adult Social Care said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to all our staff in adult social care who work so hard to support vulnerable people. Happy 72nd Birthday to adult social care and the NHS.”

Joy Bassett is a Level 3 Social Worker within Worcestershire’s adult social care team who has worked within the field for 19 years. She said: “A lot of things have changed in my time with adult social care. I feel that there is now a more structured and accountable attitude than when I first started, this does make for more focus and quicker turnaround for individuals.

“There is now more emphasis on supporting people to achieve more independence and with schemes like extra care complexes it means there are less admissions to residential homes. A focus on telecare, equipment and resources mean that we are also able to keep people in their own homes for as long as possible.

“I feel working in social care can have its challenges and pressures but overall it offers good job satisfaction and working together with health colleagues makes for a more unified and better outcome for the individual.”

Join in and celebrate 72 years of the NHS and adult social care with a very special Clap for Carers this Sunday 5th July at 5pm.