Communications Opportunities in Covid
The lemon to lemonade phrase is a hackneyed one my grandmother used to say to me when things went wrong. But we have all had over the past year to try to work in less than ideal conditions. We miss out on the touch and feel of people, but there are many ways in which communications have improved, and, for many people, channels of communication have improved. For example some care home operators say that they now have better more regular contact with friends and families of residents and there is more connectivity than ever.
In community settings the closure of day and community services has hit many people hard, while some have used it as an opportunity. I want to focus here on the Click Community. My relationship with them started when I was operating the digital social care helpline last year. Windward Day Services, an organisation that supports people who have a learning disability based in Southampton, took their service online and ran with the opportunity. Now, the Click service they developed continues to run alongside its traditional face-to-face services.
Click on the YouTube link below to see mark Elena Sebastian Catherine and Bethany in conversation giving an insight into their experiences of being part of the Click Community and what it means to them - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRbj1ZtlGUQ
New ways of talking and speaking have emerged, and the Health and Care Professions Council has produced good guidelines on standards on communication which go way beyond polite ways of letting people they are on mute. (My favourite is that if you are caught out on mute you have to make a small donation to charity).
As a start see https://www.hcpc-uk.org/covid-19/advice/applying-our-standards/communicating-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/, and they have so much more information on remote consultations and other forms of vital communication.
There are many pitfalls in the new ways of communicating and I’ll give one example. Many of us have joined WhatsApp groups to aid better communication, but WhatsApp does come with a privacy warning: so be careful and start by looking at https://www.techradar.com/news/whatsapps-flaw-allows-stalkers-to-track-you-easily or https://www.businessinsider.co.za/whatsapp-security-tips.
It is a time where we have to consider the best ways to communicate depending on our audience and our message. This is a new art in which we are learning how make the best lemonade.
Daniel Casson is Care England’s Adviser on digital transformation.
Co-host of theTalking Care podcast
Digital Care Tech 21 _ Laing Buisson Conference Director _ DCT21 _ Laing Buisson
Executive of Digital Social Care _ www.digitalsocialcare.co.uk