The new organisation, named ‘Care England’, will become the largest voice in the independent care sector, with a combined membership of 7,500 services. With a ticking demographic time bomb ahead of us – an estimated 19 million people will be over 65 by 2050 – this can only be a good thing for current and future generations.
In recent years, under the excellent leadership of Professor Martin Green OBE, ECCA has campaigned tirelessly for high quality independent care services, state funding that allows care providers to meet the high standards aspired to, fair pay and career structures in the sector, and for the users of care services to have genuine choice and flexibility over the type of care they receive dependent upon their needs and tastes. When older people require care and support they can often feel like they’re losing their independence and becoming a burden; part of ECCA’s mission and ethos has always been to ensure empowerment and choice. Through our presence in the health and social care sector PLMR has been lucky enough to work closely with ECCA over the years and we’ve seen just how impactful their campaigns have been.
With the expertise of ECCA and NCA now coming together, this will send a strong signal to Government that providers are proactively facing up to the challenges ahead. The merger comes as the Care Bill 2013-14 passes through Parliament, the Cavendish Review recommendations are considered and the effects of the Health and Social Care Act and Localism Act take hold.
In their press statements put out yesterday, the two Chairs, Nadra Ahmed OBE and Jane Ashcroft, acknowledged that “our sector faces a period of considerable challenge which will require robust representation on behalf of our membership.” The Chief Executives, Professor Martin Green OBE and Sheila Scott OBE, added, “For the first time, we will be able to demonstrate the strength of the united purpose which has brought us together and both of us welcome the opportunity to work with as many providers as possible to deliver a representative body which will be a powerful influence in health & social care through the 21st Century.”
The merger doesn’t take effect until January 2014, but it is safe to say that with these people and organisations behind it, it will launch in the New Year with a bang.