The care sector, and care homes in particular, have had a lot of publicity this year, often relating to the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Despite this, care providers have worked extensively to support the most vulnerable in our country at such challenging times, to make sure people continue to receive high quality care when they needed it most.

The National Care Forum (NCF) is the leading association for not-for-profit social care providers. In June 2020, following extensive engagement with members, about what they wanted to support them to deliver critical messages about care during the pandemic, the NCF decided to run a national campaign called Here to Care. The aim of the campaign was to actively increase public understanding and answer key questions about how care was being delivered, and to use the opportunity to showcase some of the fantastic work being done by the care sector in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NCF and its members wanted to help people looking for care, either for themselves or a loved one, to feel reassured in making an active choice to move into a care home.

NCF members provided a range of care and support services, shared story after story of the amazing way in which they were supporting people and families. Testimonies of staff and volunteers going above and beyond the call of duty, in often challenging circumstances, were abundant; and images of the reality of life in care homes demonstrated the very real human cost and determination of care leaders and the care workforce to rise to the occasion in the face of an unrelenting virus.

Vic Rayner, Executive Director of the National Care Forum said:

“Our Here to Care campaign has shown that it really is possible to run a positive campaign about care homes, which highlights some important key messages, despite the challenge of the pandemic. It has helped the wider public to see what we at the NCF already know and see every day – that  good quality care delivered by not-for-profit providers make a difference to people’s lives. This needs to be acknowledged and celebrated at this difficult time.

“More importantly, the campaign has helped strengthen the voice of the care sector and has shone a light on the fantastic job that care workers do every day across our communities. Our public polling for the campaign found that the majority of adults in England, overwhelmingly believe care workers in care homes do a brilliant job (74%); are undervalued (81%); and should be paid better (80%).  Now is the time for the government to invest in the care sector so that we can reward our workforce properly.

“Our work on this key issue continues, with all our policy work that seeks to highlight the very practical and innovative approaches used by not-for-profit care providers to offer a ‘whatever it takes’ approach in how they operate in order to delivery truly person centred care.”

The positive news stories from across the sector as a result of the campaign garnered interest from the media, resulting in 352 pieces of media coverage across broadcast, print and online media, of which 240 pieces were directly related to the Here to Care campaign.

Lizzie Gurr from Sussex Housing and Care, said:

“The campaign has been a great enthuser, promoting positive stories. The communication has been strong, concise and well received.”

Ends

Note to Editors:

  • The National Care Forum brings together over 130 of the UK’s leading social care charities, representing large numbers of care providers, offering thousands of services across the country, which are not for profit and always at the heart of community provision. Collectively, these charities deliver more than £2 billion of social care support to more than 167,000 people in 9,200 settings. The NCF membership body collectively employs more than 95,500 colleagues.
  • For more information about the Here to Care campaign visit https://www.nationalcareforum.org.uk/ncf-here-to-care-confidence-campaign-now-live/
  • More information is available on the National Care Forum at www.nationalcareforum.org.uk. @NCFCareForum @vicrayner @NCF_Liz
  • For enquiries, please contact Edna Petzen ([email protected]).