A review of ‘Saving Social Care’ by Neil Eastwood

How can we find the compassionate and loyal care
workers of tomorrow?

Every so often a book comes
along that has the potential to make a real difference – and deserves to be a
best seller. This is quite some achievement when it’s a professional book …
and the topic is social care!

I confess that I had some slight
reservations about the title ‘Saving Social Care’ before I’d read this book.
I’m pleased to have been one of those able to add a comment to the introduction
as I believe it tackles head-on the most pressing issue currently faced by the
social care sector. Without staff to support people in need it will not be
possible to deliver safe care let alone the quality standard that people expect
and deserve. Recruiting and retaining good care workers is vital to the future
sustainability of the social care sector, just as it is in healthcare. It
sounds melodramatic because it’s true. There is every chance that one of the
effects of Brexit, at least in the short-term, will be to make the situation
even more challenging.

I really hope that every
manager in social care reads this book. Every manager – whatever their care
service or whatever part of the sector – as well as those aspiring to become
managers in the social care sector. It should be compulsory reading for the
senior staff in every care provider organisation, in my view, and a set book
for leadership development in social care. And it had something to offer even the
most seasoned of HR professionals.

The book is divided into
three parts: the first part covers recruiting well;
part two discusses sourcing creatively;
and part three the issue of retaining
staff. It is written in a hugely accessible style with practical guidance,
hints and tips, that make it a compelling read. It is based on well-researched
and well-informed understanding of best practice and what works best from the
UK and beyond. The depth of knowledge and understanding of the care sector and
the challenges it faces is there to be seen on every page. Remarkably perhaps
it remains a positive account of what we can do to create change and lots of
reminders of “measuring, testing, adjusting” before repeating.

If you are pressed for time
I recommend reading Chapter 14 first: ‘Keeping Staff – Ten Quick Wins’. I
pretty much guarantee that you’ll be hooked and you’ll want to know in what
other ways this book can assist.

One of the testimonials at
the front of the book comments “it just works” and this sums it up
really neatly. There are so many ideas with thought given to every aspect of
social care – remember ‘for 60% of care workers it’s not just a job’. Being
realistic; reputation; social media; older workers; returners; recognition;
involvement; motivation; culture; leadership; technology; using in-house and
community networks… it’s all there, and in an actionable format.

So, an essential read! I
really wish it had been available when I was responsible for managing social
care services. Don’t miss out – get a copy today!

Des Kelly OBE

Director of The Residential Forum

20 September 2017

‘Saving Social Care’ (2017) by Neil Eastwood is published in Great
Britain by Rethink Press at £11.99

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