That was the conclusion of a major meeting organised by the Care & Support Alliance on 24th January.
Care providers, think tanks, faith leaders, politicians and officials from across government heard the economic case for social care reform from an expert panel*, including Andrew Dilnot.Delegates watched a presentation from Liz Ball, who is deafblind, about how social care support means she can stay in work, and actively contribute to the economy.
Simon Gillespie, chair of the Care & Support Alliance said:
“We’re challenging the view that the money needed to reform social care is yet another burden on public finances.
A properly funded, fully functioning care and support system can actually deliver economic benefits. Instead we have a system that is not just failing millions of people, it is failing business and the economy.”
Members of Employers for Carers (www.employersforcarers.org), Nomura International, demonstrated how businesses are losing good people and money as staff have to give up work because of the pressures of caring. Outlining how Nomura supports carers in its workforce, there was a call on society to grasp the nettle for those with caring responsibilities in the way it supports people with childcare.
The need for government and councils to recognise social care as a business sector, employing millions of people, was vital, delegates heard. Just as major infrastructure projects win backing because of the long term economic benefits, a social care system for the 21st century could deliver benefits through increased wellbeing and employment, reducing the costs borne by the welfare state and the NHS.
* Panel speakers were: Andrew Dilnot, Chair of the Comission on Funding of Care and Support, Richard Humphries, Senior Fellow at the King’s Fund, Charlotte Sweeney, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Nomura International, and Peter Hay, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.