This inquiry has thoroughly explored and examined how positive change can be cultivated and embedded in health and social care. Research sought to identify the essential ingredients and components to improve practice in a manner that is effective, supportive to staff, and long-lasting/enduring.
The recommendations developed in the inquiry have been carefully considered, to ensure the right balance is struck between action by sector leaders, local authorities, central government, employers and service providers, and individual practitioners. To be most effective, practice improvement must be adequately funded, and accepted and embedded at each level of the sector. Training and awareness are beneficial, but without support from the employer, professionals can only change their practice in minimal ways.
The inquiry recommends that sector leading organisations such as regulators, professional bodies and Royal Colleges develop tailored guidance on carbon monoxide for their own professions, accounting for any specific needs or points of consideration. It is essential that guidance and advice is provided by a trusted source, otherwise it is highly likely to be ineffective and ignored.
Many of the report’s recommendations are aligned with government or parliamentary objectives, such as those in the social care white paper: “People at the Heart of Care”; the Lords Select Committee Inquiry into the integration of
primary and community care; the revised Air Quality Strategy from Defra; and the NHS preventative healthcare agenda; and the levelling up approach to health inequalities taken by the Office for Heath Improvement and Disparities (OHID), and the Department for Levelling Up, Communities and Housing.6
There is a clear recognition from policy makers that investing in protective measures and integrating services can reap huge benefits for British society, the health and social care workforce, and the effective operation of public services.
The practical recommendations developed in this report can assist in the drafting and implementation of supportive policies that will aid best practice and protect society for many years to come.