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Jul 16, 2019

After a decade of austerity, people working in social care have got used to hard decisions and making do. But the message emerging from the meeting of the West Midlands Workforce Alliance in early July was one of energy and optimism.

There is a growing recognition of the contribution that social care makes to the local economy of the West Midlands and a greater appreciation of a whole range of careers and professions, not just those traditionally represented in the media in a downbeat and unflattering way.

Other reasons to be cheerful include wider adoption of digital tools - after a slow start due to some leadership uncertainties and real concerns about risks – recent suggestions of more resources coming into the sector, and a move towards neighbourhoods as the proper focus for service provision, supported by new developments like Primary Care Networks and Integrated Care Systems.

Against this background the West Midlands Workforce Alliance is providing a promising ‘safe space’ for some challenging discussions around such topics as pay disparities and disconnections between different parts of the system to be faced and resolved contructively.