Monthly column for providers and professionals working in adult social care from Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care.

Live Music in Care

Every year when September rolls around there are a few things that mark the change of seasons with comforting familiarity. Children going back to school, darker evenings drawing in and of course, the Last Night of the Proms.

This year at CQC we decided to do something special to celebrate this special event: we teamed up with Live Music Now to challenge care services to do something musical and extraordinary on the Last Night of the Proms and share what they were doing using the #LiveMusicinCare hashtag on Twitter.

I had the pleasure of visiting Nightingale House — recently rated Outstanding — to film our own video for the challenge. I danced, sang and shook a tambourine with the staff and residents at the home and an African-Brazilian band. The clip has been viewed more than 110,000 times! You can see for yourself below.

This might seem like fun and games, but it’s important for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s sharing the positive work happening in care services every day that rarely gets a mention in the press but deserves to be recognised. Secondly, it’s promoting the transformative effects that music can have on people’s lives. Music brings people together, it promotes emotional wellbeing, and it’s great fun. That’s what really good care services should be all about.

I’m delighted that over 100 care homes have got involved so far — with more submissions still coming in. The Last Night of the Proms has been and gone, but the impact that music has on people won’t change.

Professional Care Workers Day

Speaking of the positive work that care workers do, I was delighted on 4 September to be able to support the very first Professional Care Workers Day, organised by the National Association of Care and Support Workers (NACAS).

NACAS organised the day to celebrate the dedication, skill and commitment of the thousands of care workers who make a difference to so many people across the country. Supporting people with complex needs is a highly skilled job requiring great communication, emotional intelligence and gallons of patience — it’s right that we take the time to highlight the contribution care workers make and to say thank you for a job well done. Though of course, we should be doing that all year round!

Flu vaccinations for social care staff

Finally, I’d like to share the good news that NHS England have confirmed that free flu vaccinations will be extended to social care staff directly involved in the care of people who are vulnerable to flu. Information on exactly who can access a free flu jab and how to do it can be found in this month’s newsletter. Now we have confirmation that free vaccinations will be available in social care, please act fast to encourage your staff to take them up. Flu season will be upon us soon and the vaccine is the best way to prevent it spreading to people who use services who are at a higher risk from its effects. Many thanks.

Until next time!

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

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