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CPA suggests seven shining virtues for adoption by care providers

November 27, 2018

The Care Provider Alliance (CPA), made up of several care provider organisations, has published new guidance to support strategic engagement between local authorities, the NHS and the independent and voluntary adult social care sector.

Residential and nursing homes care for 460,000 people, many of whom have multiple complex health needs; and more than half a million more people rely on social care in their own homes. But when the big strategic issues are being discussed locally, this large and vital sector is rarely at the table; and one reason can be concern that talking to individual providers would create conflicts of interest.

The CPA says its “Seven principles for the engagement of individual providers on behalf of the wider independent and voluntary adult social care sector” will help all parties overcome that concern. Based closely on the widely recognised “Seven Principles of Public Life”, they suggest how adult social care providers should approach any situation in which they are acting as a representative of the wider sector.

Bridget Warr, chair of the Care Provider Alliance’s Programme Board, said the independent and voluntary adult social care sector was ready to work more closely and strategically with local authorities and the NHS.

“The adoption of these principles by care providers should reassure our statutory sector colleagues that there is nothing to stop them working with the sector, and if people are to receive care that is properly joined up, it is essential that this should happen in every local area,” said Ms Warr.

“We would encourage adult social care providers to adopt these principles and we hope that, if they encounter any reluctance by their statutory sector colleagues to engage, the adoption of these principles will help overcome it.

“The principles have been developed as part of a programme of work funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. I am delighted that the principles are also supported by the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS).”

The seven principles are:

Selflessness: ASC provider representatives should act solely in the interests of the wider sector and of the people supported by adult social care services.

Integrity: ASC provider representatives should not act, or put forward views, or use information they see in their role as a representative, in order to gain financial or business benefits for themselves or their company, or for related individuals or companies. They must declare any interests and relationships, for example if a discussion about future services could affect their business or organisation in a positive or negative way. They should be willing to withdraw from a discussion if a direct and formal conflict of interest should arise.

Objectivity: ASC provider representatives must act and put forward views fairly and on merit, using the best available evidence and without discrimination or bias.

Accountability: ASC provider representatives are accountable to the wider sector for their actions and for the representations they make. They should be willing to explain their views and representations if reasonably asked to do so.

Openness: ASC provider representatives should act and make representations in an open and transparent manner. They should be clear about whether they are expressing a personal view, or one that has come from a more formal representative process. They should expect that, unless there is a specific reason for a matter to be confidential, any actions they take or representations they make may be shared with the wider sector. They should seek ways to report back to the wider sector.

Honesty: ASC provider representatives should be truthful.

Leadership: ASC provider representatives should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and be willing to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.

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