Reforming social care makes economic sense and is urgent, Chancellor told
More than 100 cross- party MPs, peers and those from across the social care sector have written to the Chancellor to demand a Fair Deal and immediate social care workforce reform.
The letter from the Future Social Care Coalition has more than 100 signatories. Its supporters, including five current or former health ministers, leader of the Liberal Democrats Sir Ed Davey, top social care industry bodies and people who work in and draw on social care have written to the Chancellor to make the economic case for social care workforce reform and demand Government publish its long-awaited plans to get social care done.
The letter, sent to the Chancellor by the cross-party, cross-sector Future Social Care Coalition and signed by 102 people and organisations, urges the Chancellor to keep his Government’s promises for social care workforce reform, which despite being promised at both the Spending Review and Queen’s Speech, are yet to be published in full.
The Coalition has made economic case for reforming the social care workforce in the letter, highlighting that the sector is worth £41 billion to the economy annually. The social care sector has huge potential for growth, with demand likely to increase over the next 15 years, creating 520,000 new jobs. However, with current vacancies estimated at 112,000 and staff turnover rates high, urgent action is required to level-up the social care workforce.
The letter said: “We want the Government to keep its promises to bring forward plans to reform social care as set out in your Spending Review, which clearly stated that the Government is “committed to sustainable improvement of the adult social care system and will bring forward proposals next year.” The Queen’s Speech also set out the Government’s intentions, “Our adult social care workforce underpins improvement of the social care system, and it is critical to support their development. We will listen and engage with staff groups about how to best support them,” but we are yet to see any clear proposals.
“It is time for the Government to respect, reward and regulate to support all those working on the ‘forgotten frontline’, the social care workforce. It has never been clearer that they warrant and deserve a fair deal.”
The Future Care Coalition is urging Government give social care parity of esteem with the NHS, starting with a People Plan that changes the culture of social care so it is valued and is a source of national pride.
The Social Care People’s Plan Framework, launched by the Coalition at its Summer Summit, sets out recommendations to reform the social care workforce including:
- A Social Care People Promise
- Pay for care and support workers to be increased to the Real Living Wage level immediately
- Government to consult on a national compulsory register for social care and support workers
- Nationally prescribed training standards
- The creation of national institutions and capacity, and take the necessary action to create national pride in the care sector so that it is viewed positively and able to fulfil its potential, as a sector of the economy, to contribute to the economic recovery
The letter said: “Now is the time for action, not words. It’s time for a fair deal for social care and for Government to deliver the Social Care People Plan it has promised. We urge you to use the recommendations in our plan, and our economic case for reform, to get social care done.”