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Connecting communities through diversification

by Kirsty Kirsty

Gavin Bashar, UK Managing Director, Tunstall Healthcare

There are many benefits that can be reaped when it comes to workforce diversification, and the social care sector is no exception. A diverse social care workforce, particularly in terms of encouraging the next generation to consider a career in the sector, will see better engagement between citizens and care professionals and greater productivity.

Through diversity we’ll help to drive a workforce that is more able to consider differences between communities, including languages and cultures. The workforce will be able to implement effective services through the adoption of a multitude of new working practices, including  technology solutions in community care and beyond. This will support us in continuing to meet the needs of our growing and ageing population.

Gavin Bashar, UK Managing Director at Tunstall Healthcare, discusses why diversity is crucial to enabling the social care sector to encourage and adopt technology-based solutions, and make a shift change that can create a ripple effect across care provision.

Diversifying through technology

Technology can allow care providers to more effectively meet the needs of a wide range of individuals and communities, in a personalised and supportive way. The importance of technology in service delivery across the health and care landscape shouldn’t be underestimated, particularly when it comes to putting people in control of decisions made about their health and care needs.

However, a cultural shift is required if the sector is to fully embrace and reap the benefits that digital solutions can provide. As the sector workforce diversifies, this will drive the number of professionals who are interested in using technology to support better service provision and their ability to engage citizens with different solutions and ways of working.

Diversity is an increasing factor in attracting and retaining staff, and diverse teams are proven to be smarter, more innovative and more socially aware. As the sector faces high vacancy rates, encouraging more people to join and remain in the sector, will make adopting and scaling the right technology easier and will support many resources, increase utilisation, and improve capacity across the care system, to provide effective care. The establishment and progression of a diverse workforce will enable us to build robust methodologies for analysing and using data effectively. This will help to improve decision making across all parts of the system and ensure that data is held securely, outcomes are improved and privacy is not compromised.

Diversification, outcomes and engagement

As the workforce grows and technology becomes more standard practice for care provision, we’ll see the benefits translated to other parts of the system. This is particularly true when it comes to engaging with vulnerable people who rely on social care services.

Experience matters but not in the traditional sense. While there are many key facets involved in the development and transformation of services, the experiences of patients, the workforce, and the entire community must be at the centre of every decision that is made. If we align with these stakeholders and their lived experiences, we can begin to change the health and social care landscape for the better.

Health and care inequalities can cause communities to become disenfranchised with service providers, for example problems can arise because of travel, logistics and even linguistic challenges. Diversification within the workforce can work to reduce these inequalities as there will be more capacity to deliver bespoke approaches to different localities and communities.

A broader workforce may also be more relatable to different communities which can in turn drive communication and engagement between professionals and the people they care for. By identifying the diverse needs of citizens and communities, social care providers and operators will be more likely to deliver better services and improve the user experience If the entire ecosystem works in harmony and we grow the workforce, it’ll mean that we’re better equipped to meet the expectations of our population when it comes to care delivery.

Image depicts Gavin Bashar, UK Managing Director, Tunstall Healthcare

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