In about 2010 a few like-minded local Care Association leaders got together, courtesy of Caring Times and Lloyds Bank who were hosting a conference in the Midlands. The idea was to establish a forum in which local Care Associations could exchange best practice ideas and find effective ways to minimise waste, based on their experiences in their areas. The group recognised at the same time that such a forum may be a useful vehicle to deliver front line smaller provider issues direct to the central decision makers. The group felt that whilst there are other national associations such as ECCA (now care England), National Care Forum, National Care Association, Registered Nursing Homes Association and so on, the message can sometimes be diluted from its raw state and lose its impact as a consequence.
Over time these objectives have developed as a distinct modus operandi of the Care Association Alliance to the extent that the agendas for each meeting are evenly split between sharing best practice and seeking discussions with the leading decision makes in social care. The national Care Associations have largely supported this approach and do not see a conflict in these objectives and indeed welcome the dialogue with local care associations.
The spin off for the 40 or so member Care Associations drawn from across the country, is that by sharing and hearing individual local experiences some degree of self- confidence is generated in their individual dealings and negotiations with Local Authorities and CCGs. We also learn from each other.
The Care Association Alliance is member based with no fee. It is incorporated with Companies House (Number 9893184). We fund our operating costs from commercial sponsorship for which we are very grateful and respond by promoting our sponsors. We meet formally 4 times or more a year and plan to establish meetings in the north and south of the country for geographical and economic reasons. We communicate between meetings and members support individual meetings with central decision makers, representing front line providers on key topical issues (such as the national shortage of nurses) feeding back to all members.
Given the relatively straight forward objectives of the Care Association Alliance, the mission statement is equally succinct.
To share best practice, experience, success and failures between Care Association Alliance members to foster self-confidence locally in their discussions and negotiations with Local Authorities and NHS CCGs.
To represent the impact and consequences of strategic policy on the front line of social care to central decision makers.