The Five Nations Care Forum, which comprises representative bodies from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, England and the Irish Republic, came together in Belfast to share experiences, and improve the status and recognition of care services.

The forum discussed a range of issues that have significant impacts on the care sector, including, regulation, funding, and the potential impacts of Brexit. These discussions clearly showed there was a commonality of challenges, but also a unity of purpose in confronting them.

The event acknowledged that care services in all countries are under significant pressure, but there was a shared commitment to ensuring that there was better understanding of the role care plays in the lives of all our citizens, and the enormous contribution it makes to both local, and national economies.

Throughout the meeting, there was a strong sense that we must all coalesce to ensure a better understanding of the importance of the care sector; and a hope, that citizens, politicians and the media, will increasingly come to see that social care needs to be regarded as an essential part of the national infrastructure.

The Five Nations Forum has embraced the strapline “Care about Care” and we hope that every citizen and institution will do the same.