As the Conservative Party’s leadership contest rumbles on, key social care organisations are working to make sure that social care’s voice is heard.
The National Care Forum (NCF) has called on the leadership contenders to put social care at the very centre of their policy agendas – and to affirm their commitment to reform.
According to the NCF: ‘The entire sector has been watching the leadership race with increasing concern as those vying for the top position compete to show that they are willing to cut taxation, and in particular, the recent NI increase, better known as the health and social care levy. The levy is the proposed funding mechanism for this government’s urgent social care reforms and yet there has been silence on how these reforms will be funded if the levy is cancelled.’
Professor Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of the NCF said: “Those responsible for the commissioning and delivery of care, alongside those receiving care and support need answers now. We need a leader that commits to reform, commits to address the chronic underfunding and fragility of the sector and most of all commits to own this golden opportunity to co-design a social care system for the future that all can hold in the highest regard.
“Social care is a public service and those who receive care and work in care expect a leader who sweats the hard stuff. The next Prime Minister would do well to remember that social care matters to us all.”
Meanwhile, Care England has called on whatever currently remains of the government to introduce a minimum wage for adult social care workers in England.
Professor Martin Green OBE, chief executive of Care England, said: “The social care workforce is our biggest asset and care providers are anxious to deliver a new deal for our workforce with clear career pathways and proper remuneration. However, this is impossible on the current funding which we receive from central and local government, and there is a desperate need for significant increases in funding to keep pace with the cost of living crisis and to make care a valued and properly rewarded career.
“Care England continues to work on behalf of its members to ensure that a long-term workforce strategy is introduced. Social Care services have been through one of the most traumatic periods in living memory and our colleagues have been on the frontline of the global pandemic, yet we have not seen proper recognition or reward for this contribution coming from the government. In Wales and Scotland, care staff have been given bonuses, yet these have not been paid in England.”