Social Care Summit
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Labour Party Conference, 9 October 2023
Caring About Care: What Will Labour Do to Invest in Social Care and Tackle the Social Care Crisis?
Kevin Maguire (Chair), Associate Editor, Daily Mail
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester
Andrew Gywnne, Shadow Minister for Social Care
Christina McAnea, General Secretary, Unison
Tom Robinson Cllr
Andrew Harrop, Head of Fabian Society
Liz Kendall, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary
Dr Anna Dixon, Labour’s PPC for Shipley
Kevin Maguire introduced the guests and addressed the issue of the social care crisis.
Andy Burnham started by detailing his experience of the Conservative Conference. He said that they had
shown who they really were as they were making short-term decisions to save their skin. Thereafter, he
explained that we need a National Care Service as the care sector cannot even look after its own staff with
the constraints it is currently under. He explained that this would be a threat for all of us and our economy.
He added that the NHS does not survive without a change to our approach to preventative care. He also
stressed that no one should have to pay chargers to live their life with a disability as all care charges
should be provided on NHS terms. He concluded by stressing that we need to raise social care as a
Andrew Gywnne stressed that we need to change the country and society for the better. He argued that
Labour wants the UK to be a country that everyone wants to grow old in and he said that we are so far
away from that with the current Government. He also stressed that social care covers all ages, not just the
elderly and that the only way to do this is to build a National Care Service. Afterwards, Gwynne concluded
that we need to professionalise social care as a profession; it needs to be valued more in a societal sense
Christina McAnea said that we are on the cusp of social change. She argued that social care has
been an important mission for Unison. Thereafter, she explained that the social care crisis became literal
when, within days of the Covid-19 pandemic, the NHS and social care system. She stressed that the social
care system needs to replicate the NHS in terms of the respect and dignity it is given but also its
organisational structure too.
Tom Robinson praised social care workers for their dedication and commended the Labour party for their
support of social care. He then criticised the Conservatives for their digreard of the social care agenda.
Andrew Harrop explained that the Fabian Society has investigated how a National Care Service could
look under Labour. He explained that under the proposed changes social care will be the responsibility of
the Government just like the NHS. Moreover, he argued that there would be a series of clear rights and
entitlements given to workers. He also explained that the service would seek to end the inequality in social
care and also provide a fair pay agreement to care workers.
Liz Kendall explained that she believes that social care is the challenge of our generation with an
increasingly ageing population and the demand this puts on the economy and public services. She
stressed that we need to ensure that people do not dread the end of their life. She also explained the
gendered aspect of the social care system- where the burden disproportionately fails on women to care for
family members and the impact this has on their life prospects.
Anna Dixon argued that social care has to be part of Labour’s mission for the general election and that
we have a huge opportunity to embrace social care and put it on an equal footing with the NHS.