Somerset County Council joined others from health and social care across the country for a 10 Downing Street reception hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to thank all who worked so hard during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Anna Littlewood, Deputy Director for Adult Social Care, took the chance to highlight and praise the extraordinary work carried out in Somerset – and to check on progress of potential reform in the health and care sector.
Also invited were staff from Linden House Care Home in Wellington, who shared the tragic impact of the pandemic on staff and residents with Clinton Rogers in this video: Somerset Covid Catch-Up – Week 10: Coronavirus and care – YouTube
It was a golden opportunity to meet and speak to people who influence and design policy changes as well as those who had suffered themselves during the pandemic.
She raised questions on social care reform with Gillian Keegan MP, the new Minister for Care, highlighting pay for care workers and the investment needed to create career structures.
“It was great to have the opportunity for challenging, robust and honest conversation with the Minister, and to do this alongside Stephen Chandler, the previous Director of Social Care in Somerset and who is now the President for the Association of Directors for Adult Social Services,” said Anna.
Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Councillor David Huxtable, said: “This was a great recognition of the work we are doing in Somerset to care for our most vulnerable residents and to highlight the urgent need for action to reform the sector.
“It is not often you get the chance to speak to those who are steering national policy changes – and we made the most of that opportunity.”
Anna has written her first-hand account of the visit, My Trip to 10 Downing Street.
The No 10 trip came just days before the County Council’s first Social Care Jobs Fair launches at Somerset County Cricket Ground. The free event, hosted by Proud to Care Somerset in partnership with the National Careers Service, takes place on 30 November and offers job seekers the opportunity to meet care providers and start or progress their social care career.
Vacant social care roles can be found at www.proudtocaresomerset.org.uk/jobs and range from helping people in their own homes, caring for younger people with a learning disability, to helping people in residential care.