The future we want to see for social care
Care and support can mean a variety of different things for different people who require social care.
It can reflect the personal care that helps to maintain our dignity when in our own home, it might also mean community support that enables us to access our local areas and live a fulfilling life, or it might relate to the residential support that someone requires to be safe and well throughout the day and night.
Social care is not a singular form of support. Anyone might need social care; older people, working age disabled adults and unpaid carers all access it in different ways to achieve different outcomes.
When we talk about social care, we mean for it to represent the full range of support available across the diverse spectrum of needs, ages, and demographics.
The following are the 8 outcomes we will collectively aim to achieve regarding adult social care in England, through the work of the Care and Support Alliance:
1. Everyone, no matter who they are, gets the care and support they need, when they need it, so they can have the best quality of life possible and lead independent and fulfilling lives.
2. People who need care, and their unpaid carers, should have genuine choice and control about their care so that it best meets their needs and aspirations. Social care should be person-centred.
3. National legislation (Care Act 2014) and guidance is properly adhered to, implemented and promoted throughout England, compliance is robustly monitored, people’s existing rights are upheld, and an effective system of recourse is in place for service users when the system fails to meet their needs.
4. Working in social care is a valued career. People accessing care are supported by well-trained, compassionate and well-paid care staff whose skill and dedication is properly recognised and valued.
5. Funding for social care is sufficient, sustainable, and well planned to ensure all people – including older and working-age disabled adults – can access the support they need.
6. Those caring for a family member or friend are properly supported to undertake their unpaid caring responsibilities, ensuring they can access the breaks, assessments and support they need to live a life beyond caring, and juggle caring alongside paid employment.
7. Social care is viewed as a valued part of the national infrastructure and has parity of esteem with the NHS to help deliver integrated care, including equal involvement in local funding decisions and priority-setting.
8. All people who use social care have access to quality, accessible and clear information and barrier-free advocacy support that helps and empowers them to navigate the social care system.
Social care means different things for different people.
• For some, it’s personal care that helps to maintain our dignity in our own home.
• For some, it’s community support so we can access our local areas, work, see our loved ones and do the things we love.
• For some, it’s residential support to help us be safe and well throughout the day and night.
Older people, working age disabled adults and unpaid carers all access social care. With good quality social care we can have independence, choice, and control over our lives.
The following outcomes are the future we want to see for social care. This is what Care & Support Alliance (CSA) members will collectively be campaigning for:
1. Everyone has equal access to the social care they need, when they need it. Social care supports people to live the life they want as independently as they choose.
2. People who need care and their carers have choice and control. Person centred care meets their needs and aspirations.
3. People get the social care support they are legally entitled to and their rights are upheld. People who draw on care are supported when the system fails to meet their needs.
4. Working in social care is a valued career. Care staff are paid well and offered quality training to provide the best care.
5. Funding for social care is enough, sustainable, and well planned to make sure everyone can access the support they need.
6. Unpaid carers are supported. They can access the breaks, and assessments they need to live a life beyond caring, and juggle caring alongside paid employment.
7. Social care is viewed equally to the NHS. Social care and NHS care is joined-up. Social care, and the NHS are both a priority for funding and planning.
8. People who use social care have access to quality, accessible information. Advocacy support helps and empowers people to navigate the social care system.
#KeepYourPromiseBoris #SocialCareCantWait #DoesRishiReallyCare
June – Dec 2021
In 2021 the CSA launched its biggest campaign ever, to get the Prime Minister to deliver the promise he made on his first day in office: to “fix social care” for good.
We targeted both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, over six months of alliance-wide campaigning. As a result, we heard that the Prime Minister himself felt pressure from our campaign, and that Rishi had also been aware of the campaign targeted at him.
The #KeepYourPromiseBoris campaign highlighted how a chronic lack of funding for care was having a devastating impact on older people, disabled people and carers in England. For over 20 years Governments have failed to deliver for funding for care: this has left millions without the basic care they need to keep safe and maintain their dignity, and robbed many more of their chance to be independent.
Our campaign called on the Government to finally introduce reforms and funding to ensure people can get the care they need when they need it, free at the point of use.
Over 20,000 campaigners backed our calls and got #KeepYourPromiseBoris trending on Twitter. Campaigners wrote to their MPs to get them to write to Boris to ensure he would act. This wave of pressure ultimately saw the Government announce historic reforms for social care in September 2021.
We then called on the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to prioritise urgent care funding in his Autumn Spending Review: asking whether he would choose to be a hero, or a villain, for everyone who needs care now. Our campaign hashtags were #SocialCareCantWait and #DoesRishiReallyCare.
We asked people to sign our petition to get the Chancellor to fund care now – and nearly 60,000 people did.
Across both campaigns we were supported by 30 of our member organisations on social media, including Age UK, Mind, the Alzheimer’s Society and the MS Society. We raised the voices of tens of thousands of people across the country calling for urgent funding for social care. Our campaigns attracted national press coverage over the course of 2021 – 95 articles reached 53m people, and a total social media reach of 6.5 million.
On the 7th September 2021, the Government introduced historic social care reforms: a cap on catastrophic care costs, as well as a Health and Social Care National Insurance levy to generate an extra £12bn per year for three years for health and care services. The PM said the aim of these was “….protecting people against the catastrophic fear of losing everything to pay for the cost of their care…”.
In November 2021, increased funding for councils was announced, though sadly not enough to ensure people get the care they need with it.
Then, in December, the Government published a Social Care White Paper, which set out some modest additional proposals for social care reform.
These historic announcements have marked a step in the right direction, and are significant after 20 years of neglect from various Government. But the reality is that social care is in desperate need for much more funding, and immediate reforms to address the chronic staff shortages that are resulting in rationing of care.