Councils and workers delivering social care seek key role in Green Paper discussions

By Agencies
November 19, 2017

Responding to the announcement from the Government that it will publish a green paper on adult social care next summer, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said, “Despite the best of intentions, we have seen too many failed attempts over the years to deliver a sustainable adult social care system. Governments of all colours, along with several notable independent commissions and reviews have attempted to bring about change but for various reasons, these have not succeeded. This is why cross-party consensus on the way forward is so essential.

“If we are to finally succeed, it is also vital that councils, which have responsibility for adult social care services and delivery of the requirements of the Care Act, are at the heart of all discussions and given a key role in defining and shaping the future of social care.

“The crisis facing adult social care was quite rightly a major issue during the general election campaign, and reflects how deeply concerned the public are about how we care for older and disabled people.

“Fundamental changes to the way we fund adult social care are needed if we are to deliver a long-term sustainable system that works for everyone in society and meets their needs with safe and high-quality services.

“Difficult, brave and possibly even controversial decision-making will be required to secure the long-term future of care and support, not just of older people, but adults of all ages, such as those with learning disabilities, and provide support for carers.

“But while planning for the future, and to pave the way for long-term reform, we must address more immediate short-term pressures, such as the fragility of the care provider market.

“Social care faces an annual funding gap of £2.3 billion by 2020. Government needs to follow up today’s encouraging words with action in the Budget, and inject further much-needed funding into social care.”

Meanwhile Unison, the trade union which represents many workers in social care, said government will not get to grips with the huge problems affecting the sector if the work to shape the green paper fails to involve the views of the UK’s million strong workforce.

Unison national care officer Matt Egan said, “Everyone wants to see a system that’s well funded, that can give the best possible care to all those who need help, and that means people with disabilities, as well as older people. That care system also needs a highly trained, well-treated workforce.

“But the failure to include a union or any other kind of organisation representing care workers in shaping the green paper is a huge mistake – especially as ministers plan to seek the views of care company bosses.

“The government must consult with experts, but if it doesn’t listen to the dedicated care staff keeping the system going, it will be missing out on the chance to hear solutions from those that know the care sector better than most.”

* Local Government Association https://www.local.gov.uk/

* Unison https://www.unison.org.uk/

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