"A defining moment for the care sector"
Updated: Oct 14
Kate Still is our new Chief Operating Officer, shared her thoughts on joining the sector as we look ahead to a post-Covid reality in this month's edition of Care Agenda, Care England's monthly member publication.
“After a 12-year career with some of the UK’s largest social housing providers, it’s clear the care sector faces many of the same considerable challenges: a lack of joined-up government strategy and investment, a misalignment between the intrinsic value of the skills of those working in the sector and their pay levels, and an asset portfolio that is increasingly unfit-for-purpose.
“However, we can draw incredible strength from the sector’s reaction in crisis. Innovation and creativity highlighted the strength of its collective problem-solving, and false boundaries between sectors were broken down. Who could have predicted that the supercar industry would be the value engineers of NHS ventilators, creating them at a fraction of the cost?
“At Castleoak, this spirit of innovation and collaboration translates into intensified focus on how we create care environments that are fit for the future. Aside from Covid, behaviour change, population growth and the climate threat all mean we need to think much more holistically about the sustainability of how and where we live. Indeed, if Covid has taught us anything, it’s that nature, health and the built environment are all inextricably linked and that when we get one wrong, all are impacted to our detriment.
“Lockdown also reminded us that the simplest aspects of human experience are often the foundations of our individual and collective wellbeing: reflecting that in experiential and physical design is at the heart of our mission.
“At the same time, we are focused on what the sector needs from us now, with so many operators needing to increase site densification or modernise to remain viable. As the market specialist in end-to-end, development-to-build solutions, we believe we have a vital role in supporting the care sector in making best use of its assets by providing specialist and swift investment and construction solutions.
“I could never have imagined joining the sector in such a defining moment for its future. As an innovation and change professional though, I take heart in the fact that every crisis focuses us on those problems that really need solving.
"In my experience, systemic barriers to positive change can often feel intractable: but, as we have recently seen, when we are all focused on what we can do to meet these challenges, the collective impact is much greater."