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National Skills Academy for Social Care welcomes report into improving dignity for older people

Better leadership at every level of worker will result in better care for older people, according to the National Skills Academy for Social Care.

Responding to a recent report by the Commission on Improving Dignity in Care for Older People, the National Skills Academy welcomed the call for greater emphasis on compassionate carers, and the encouragement for staff at all levels to challenge bad practice.

“The  Academy has been working tirelessly for over two years to address the key recommendations in the Commission’s report relating to changing the culture of care, so that people working in a care setting, whatever their role and their level, can feel confident in taking responsibility for their own practice and addressing shortcomings elsewhere,” said Diane Lawson, chief executive of the Skills Academy.

“We know from our own research that the importance of leadership is already acknowledged in the sector: in a pan-sector survey carried out for the Academy at the end of 2011, 94% of respondents made a direct link between quality of leadership and quality of services. And leadership behaviours are fundamentally based on social care values, so that, as Sir Keith Pearson, one of the report authors, states: ‘Recruiting for values…is enormously important.’

“In the Leadership Strategy for the adult social care which we have developed as part of the forthcoming Health and Social Care White Paper, we have identified an approach to assess the behaviours of staff at all levels and identify relevant professional development pathways to address gaps. Our Leadership Qualities Framework will also enable organisations to assess their leadership strengths and weaknesses to build the capacity of their workforce. We believe it is only thorough investing in leadership development organisations can meet and move beyond compliance requirements towards excellence. We will begin to roll out the approach to our Members in the summer, who will be able to draw on their membership of the Skills Academy as a symbol of their commitment to excellence in social care.

“Our ultimate aim is to effect a transformation in the experiences of social care service users, through improving leadership behaviours across the sector.”

Natalie Thornhill

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