Care England publish new “roadmap to a sustainable future for adult social care”
“Pragmatic and deliverable” new plan makes recommendations to next incoming government and has received wide cross-sector backing.
Care England, the largest representative body for independent adult social care providers, has today launched Care For Our Future: The roadmap to a sustainable future for adult social care. The report, which has received backing from major representative groups from across the adult social care sector, sets out the sector’s priorities across three themes: workforce, funding and integration.
The publication issues a series of “pragmatic and deliverable” policy recommendations it describes for the next government to implement within 100 days, two years and five years of entering office. Care England describe these recommendations as striking “a balance between addressing the urgent needs of the adult social care sector and remaining pragmatic and deliverable amid a challenging economic and political landscape.” Key among these is the recommendation for the government to mandate direct adult social care representation at all ICS levels in England, a position long advocated by Public Policy Projects.
Care For Our Future makes the following recommendations:
Within 100 days of the next government taking office:
- Mandate the professional registration of adult social care staff in England.
- Zero-rate VAT for welfare services in England.
- Mandate direct adult social care representation at all ICS levels in England
Within two years of the next Government taking office:
- Implement a fully-funded £15 minimum care wage and develop parity of esteem with NHS staff.
- Close the Fair Cost of Care funding gap and repeat the exercise at a sector-wide level.
- Publish a strategy for hospital discharge which introduces a national tariff of £1,500 per week.
Within five years of the next Government taking office:
- Consolidate reforms within a fully-funded, long-term adult social care workforce plan.
- Deliver a long-term adult social care funding settlement, with a £10bn annual funding boost.
- Deliver a fully mapped prevention and integration plan.
The full Care For Our Future report can be accessed here.
The recommendations have been backed by a wide swathe of sector stakeholders, including Steve Brine MP, Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee, who said: “I fully support Care England’s call for a long-term workforce strategy for the adult social care sector. I hope that Ministers read the report carefully and provide a full response in due course.”
Speaking in support of direct adult social care representation at all ICS levels, Ian Smith, Chair of NHS Surrey Heartlands ICB, said: “At Surrey Heartlands ICS, the involvement of adult social care representatives on our Integrated Care Partnership and Integrated Care Board has been critical in ensuring the diversity of the entire sector is accounted for and heard. We encourage the Government and ICS colleagues to acknowledge the importance of such representation and commit to its facilitation through the measures outlined in Care For Our Future.”
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, commented: “Adult social care affects all of us. From the vital care and support delivered to our loved ones to the £51.5bn contributed to the English economy every year, all our futures depend on a well-resourced and resilient sector. This roadmap harnesses the sector’s talent and enthusiasm to provide a blueprint for the next Government to move us towards the sustainable future our sector and society so desperately needs.”
“The recommendations are pragmatic, realistic and would deliver meaningful impact. This includes a multi-billion pound boost to the economy, shorter NHS waiting times and care work becoming a valued and rewarded career. It is incumbent upon the incoming Government, whatever their political persuasion, to put the future of adult social care at the heart of its vision for the country and this roadmap represents the foundations on which to do so.”