Sector leaders tell the Prime Minister adult social care needs a ‘1948 moment’

A letter, delivered to the Prime Minister has called for a ‘1948 moment’ – similar to the conditions which led to the creation of the NHS – to establish a long-term and sustainable future for adult social care.

28/04/21

Sector leaders tell the Prime Minister adult social care needs a ‘1948 moment’

Influential sector leaders have delivered a letter to the Prime Minister calling for a ‘1948 moment’ in social care.

The letter, signed by more than 26 co-signatories, emphasises that social care has been on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic with 30,000 tragic deaths in care homes, and the death of nearly 900 care staff.

The letter says the adult social care workforce has demonstrated tremendous commitment and resilience; but that the sector is now on its knees and in desperate need of reform.

The letter criticises successive governments which have promised social care reform but have not delivered, saying that situation is now “desperate”.

“Social care needs its 1948 moment to establish a long-term and sustainable future, that will be to the benefit of all citizens and the economy,” the letter states.

“Social care is little understood but much needed and is usually accessed at a time of crisis without the information and support to make informed choices. We support the recent calls by the Health and Social Care Select Committee for an extra £7 billion per annum and for a workforce strategy,” the letter continued. “These measures will help us to secure a long-term future for care, create new careers and build back stronger after the pandemic. Investing in our social care system both in terms of money and personnel is now essential.”

The letter was also critical of the Government’s failure to introduce a national living wage for care workers, saying that because of the way in which some services are commissioned, many in the workforce face the prospect of delivering essential services at below the minimum wage.

The calls come after similar demands last month from the Local Government Association which urged the Government to “to reimagine the purpose and value of great social care for all people in all our communities, with the same zeal and spirit of hope which led to the creation of the NHS.”

Lord Victor Adebowale, chair of the NHS Confederation and a co-signatory, said social care reform is now urgently and desperately needed.

“The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly promised to fix the crisis in social care, yet two years into his premiership and despite decades of delay, the Government still has yet to make any real progress on this issue.”

“We urge the Government to set out a clear timetable, which details how reform of the sector can be delivered, and this needs to be supported by a long-term financial settlement.”

Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England and a co-signatory of the letter, said the sector “stands ready and willing” to support the delivery of a much-needed reform agenda.

“As we come out of the pandemic, if we can develop a clear funding strategy for social care, we can also develop a range of careers that will provide high quality care and support local economic development,” Professor Green said.

Read the letter in full, and view the signatories: http://www.careengland.org.uk/news/1948-moment-adult-social-care

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