9 Words For Care campaign aims to show importance of social care reform

Disheartened by the “tiny” mention social care received in the Queen’s Speech, a care group calls out to those who work in the sector or receive care and support to say what they would have said about how important social care was if they only had nine words.

19/05/21

9 Words For Care campaign aims to show importance of social care reform

A new campaign aims to show the importance of social care reform to those in the sector after Government promises to fix the crisis were once again absent from the Queen’s Speech, which outlines the forthcoming policy agenda.

The speech, delivered by Her Majesty earlier this month included a nine-word reiteration of the Government’s previous commitment that “proposals for social care reform will be brought forward” – however no indication of timings or potential scope of the proposals was given.

The National Care Forum (NCF) said it was “deeply frustrated by the minimal focus on social care” in the speech and called out to those who work in the sector or receive care and support to find out what they would have said about how important social care was – if they only had 9 words.

The #9WordsForCare campaign received more than 400 submissions in 48 hours and reached hundreds more who engaged and commented on the ambition for social care.

Most responses expressed anger and frustration at the continued delay of meaningful action. “We do not want proposals, we need action,” said one, while another wrote: “Social care needs total reform not sticking plaster solutions.”

Emma Castleton, whose 17-year-old son has severe to profound learning disabilities, contributed to the campaign because of the effect the lack of certainty was having on her son’s care plans.

“My son will never live or work independently, and he’s got two more years left in school. And what comes after that is very unclear,” Castleton said. “There are no pathways, the budgets for support are not enough, and it’s very confusing. We’re trying to work through what I understand is huge amounts of paperwork, which all has to be completed for when he turns 18 to find the right environment for him to be.”

“The uncertainty and difficulty in navigating the system is heart breaking.”

Vic Rayner, Chief Executive of the National Care Forum said that social care reform is “more than rhetoric or bureaucracy”.

“The underlying message is clearly that 9 words was definitely not enough, and seriously undermines the much-repeated commitment that this Government will ‘fix social care’.

“If all the Government is going to allocate to social care is 9 words – there are literally hundreds and hundreds of alternative 9 words which have made much more impact and given people a sense of hope, purpose and ambition for the future.

“Social care affects people and in the words of the people responding to our call ‘lack of action has impact on people and lives’.”

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