No one could have imagined …
‘We need to change the way we do things...’ Hertfordshire adult care services told us back in 2019.
...we want our people to work with complexity, navigate the multitude of families, professionals and community groups they meet. Be more autonomous, less deferring to the boss. They need to hold their own with the NHS.
And then? The pandemic hit. Picture how it affected life partners struggling with dementia, young people with disabilities maturing into adulthood, people vulnerable to abuse and exploitation by others, isolated people, angry people trying to work their way through mazes of bureaucracy.
Care workers had almost unimaginable challenges, not least their distress as they reported rising daily death tolls in their homes, residents isolated and confused, staff exhausted, scared and grieving.
But we have been alongside them for three years. Creating moments where staff come together. Challenging their thinking, building space for their own vulnerabilities alongside those they work with. Coming together with service users and their families – how to go beyond tokenism, to get past the guilt and defensiveness, to really listen to each other.
Connections are made, new ideas emerge, new relationships form, new insights are made, new things tried out, old things re-energised.