As senior members of organisations representing people who draw on, work in, commission, provide and regulate adult social care and support, we are united in our view that the Government’s proposals for the future of social care – promised again in the Queen’s Speech for later this year – must be brought forward urgently along with a clear timeline for action. was an important opportunity for the Government to make good on its promise to ‘fix social care’ and move the reform debate further forward, building on the many lessons that have been learned during the course of the pandemic.

 

One of those lessons is the clear and important role social care plays in supporting people to live the lives they want to lead. As Social Care Future put it, ‘We all want to live in the place we call home with the people and things that we love, in communities where we look out for one another, doing things that matter to us’. Every further delay to social care reform is a further setback to the achievement of this vision and further curtailment of people’s ability to lead their best life. We must do better and be bold in redesigning the function, form and funding of social care for all those who draw on social care and its dedicated care workforce.

 

In the weeks ahead, and as we gear up to this year’s Spending Review, social care funding and reform should be at the heart of the Government’s thinking on how best to emerge from the challenging times we have all faced over the last year with renewed optimism and hope. This is an agenda that is about maximising every person’s potential, strengthening our communities and bolstering our economies. Funding is needed for three important priorities:

 

  1. To stabilise social care for the short-term and prevent the escalation of the many pressures social care has faced before and during the pandemic, which will also help alleviate some of the pressures facing the NHS.

 

  1. To kick start the shift we need to make toward the vision we all share by supporting a greater focus on preventative activity, personalisation, support for the care workforce, action on inequalities, investment in innovation and technology, and transformation and improvement support to councils and providers.

 

  1. To secure the long-term future of social care. Such funding would not be used to resource the pre-Covid status quo and would instead be used to support models of care that are more preventative and person-centred.

 

We are all committed to playing our part in realising a brighter future for social care. As we have seen over the last year, there is great work happening in local areas across micro-enterprises, the wide range of communities’ different assets, mutual aid and innovative housing arrangements, to name a few examples. We will continue to nurture these solutions in the move toward a broader offer of support. By working with Government on the above priorities we will be better able to spread this best practice and mainstream the many different models of care and support that enable people to live a fulfilling life and connect to the people and things that matter most to them.

 

Stephen Chandler, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services

Oonagh Smyth, Skills for Care

Clenton Farquharson MBE, Think Local Act Personal

Anna Severwright, Social Care Future

Kathryn Smith, Social Care Institute for Excellence

Kathy Roberts, Care Provider Alliance