Head to Head with Neel Radia
What’s your role at the NACC and a typical day in the role?
As National Chair, my role is to look at the association strategically in representing its vision and purpose with all allied professional organisations and agencies at national, regional and political level. I ensure that the National Executive functions in accordance with the Constitution of the Association, that there is full participation at meetings, all relevant matters are discussed and that effective decisions are taken and actioned. I chair our board meetings and have the overall responsibility for the Association.
As National Chair I am the associations lead and meet with a lot of people from industry associations, media, suppliers, care providers, charities etc. – to promote the NACC and make collaborations to strengthen our voice
What’s been the highlight of your chairmanship?
There have been so many highlights for me that it’s hard to pinpoint just one. My role as National Chair, and of everyone involved in the NACC, is voluntary and takes up a huge amount of personal time. What keeps me motivated and focused is the knowledge that everything we are doing is improving the quality of life of many people who do not always have a voice. Working with such a great team to achieve our visions brings tremendous satisfaction.
What do you see as the biggest challenges facing caters in the care sector today?
The downward spiral of social care budgets married with the UK’s ageing population is, and will continue to be, a huge challenge. As an association, we believe that good nutrition and hydration is essential to maintain a healthy life and to prevent malnutrition-related illnesses that can affect the elderly and vulnerable. But, unfortunately, with cut backs in social care we are seeing services disappear or less funding being made available for food and drink. Our role is to raise standards and raise awareness of the importance of good nutrition and hydration as part of quality care and this will continue to be more and more important.
If you were Prime Minister what would be the key pledge within your care bill as part of your manifesto?
For anyone who knows me this is an easy one: I would ensure that Meals on Wheels is made a statutory service that local authorities must provide. Currently, there is no statutory legislation and with social care budget cuts, these vital community services are disappearing.
If you could choose for yourself, whereabouts in the world would your ideal care home be located and why?
Another hard question. As a keen traveller, I love so many parts of the world for so different reasons. However, as I have to make a choice my ideal care home location would be Thailand (Phuket). I love Thai food and hospitality. Living in dignity and with good food, fresh fruits and warm weather are all ideal ingredients for a wonderful quality of life once I reach a certain age.