|Chancellor Rishi Sunak ‘must put meeting the needs of older and disabled people, carers and families at the heart of his plans for economic recovery’ – social services directors say.
Social care workers have played a vital and heroic role in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. They can now be central to the recovery. Meeting the needs of older and disabled people, carers and families must be pivotal in rebuilding the economy through the creation of new and rewarding jobs in all parts of the country.
The Chancellor should use the upcoming budget to send a signal that meeting the needs of older and disabled people, carers and families sits at the heart of the Government’s agenda and will be at the heart of recovery. He can do this in three steps:
- Short-term funding to stabilise the system, including RESPITE for exhausted social care workers by bringing in new staff and space to enable a national conversation about what we want from social care in future.
- Commitment to longer-term funding through a 10-year plan for adult social care, starting with RECOVERY from the crisis and moving on to major investment in preventive community services. This must include early agreement on a comprehensive workforce plan which sets a social care minimum wage of £10.90 an hour.
- REFORM that transforms social care into a pillar of a 21-century welfare state, delivering quality support for people of all ages that enables us to live the lives we want in the place we call home and in communities that look out for each other.
James Bullion, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, said:
“We want to hear the Chancellor explicitly recognise the potential of adult social care to help drive economic recovery.
“We need more than just another reiteration of the promise that the Government will bring forward plans for social care later this year. Those plans should be a foundation stone of the recovery blueprint.”