Turning Our Biggest Social Challenge into a Boost For Our Economy
January is always a time of reflection but also a time to look to the future focusing on how we can improve services and build a better future for those we help. Bryson has been working for over 40 years developing services to support our older people to remain independent and at home for as long as possible.
The statistics speak for themselves: The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that the number of people living in the UK aged 100 increased by 73% in the decade to 2012. Also the number of people over 65 is forecast to rise by 44% by 2027. This is set against the problems currently being experienced by our National Health Service.
So during this time of reflection Bryson believes that we need to radically rethink how we deliver domiciliary care in N Ireland in order to retain quality and reduce dependence on hospitals and residential care.
Bryson delivers domiciliary care, but low fixed prices make it almost impossible to invest in creating a career path to higher skills and higher value jobs in this field. We estimate that between 3,000 and 4,000 new jobs need to be created in this sector, which means that if we redirected Health spending, this challenge could be turned into a major boost for our economy.
If the Northern Ireland Executive were to reinvest savings from reduced hospitalisation, in particular from, avoidable bed blocking and residential respite provision, into creating career progression and up-skilling for domiciliary care staff, this would better meet the needs of older people and would reduce very significant pressure that the health service currently faces.
Such a shift would encourage care staff to start their career at an entry level, with the added opportunity to develop skills further and in addition to normal domiciliary work support medical staff with such tasks as checking blood sugar levels, blood pressure and help with physiotherapy exercises and adhering to dietary requirements. Bryson believes this should be the future shape of an enhanced Domiciliary Care Service, reducing pressure on expensive medical care services and facilities, while supporting those with a care vocation to further their career leading to higher value jobs.
Bryson is asking our new Health Minister to make this an immediate priority for the future of health and social care provision and engage with his Executive colleagues, particularly in DEL and DETI, to make training and development and the creation of a new service market an investment priority within our new Programme for Government.
Bryson would be happy to offer to work with the Minister’s departmental officials to develop, test and pilot such a programme creating a new service for the future which will benefit all our citizens