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27.07.20

Local Government Association: Social care needs a reset

The Local Government Association (LGA) has called for a social care reset today (July 27) after reflection on the Prime Minister’s pledge to “fix social care” one year ago.

The representative body has urged Government to publish its timetable for social care reform prior to Parliament’s return from summer recess in September.

A key set of principles, to be published at an LGA webinar today, have been put forward accounting for the lessons learned from the pandemic.

These include:

  • Putting people first
  • The importance of social care’s local dimension
  • Adequate and sustainable funding
  • Supporting the care workforce
  • How care is provided and commissioned
  • Health and integration
  • The scope of care and support reform

In light the Covid-19 outbreak disproportionately affecting older and more vulnerable people, future plans for social care reform should support this evidence and ensure people of all different needs are catered for.

More comprehensive funding for social care is also needed, according to the LGA, not only to fill funding gaps caused by the crisis, but to reflect the long-term pressured already faced by the sector.

Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said:

“For too long we have been promised a plan to fix the social care crisis but people who use and work in these vital services are still waiting. The COVID-19 crisis has proved that we need a complete reset, not a restart, when it comes to the future of social care.

“The pandemic has also served to highlight the incredibly valuable role of social care in its own right and why it is more important than ever before that we find a long-term and sustainable solution, so that people of all ages can live the life they want to lead.

“These seven principles, which have support from a number of prominent organisations across the health and care sector, need to inform and underpin the Government’s thinking on the future of adult social care in this country.

“Everyone who has been involved in dealing with the dreadful effects of this disease, including older people, unpaid carers, the most vulnerable and those who support them, deserve to know that the lessons learned will be used in shaping the future.

“This should mean care and support is properly based around every individual, keeping them safe, well and as independent as possible, and in their own home and community for as long as possible.

“We urge the Government and other parties to begin cross-party talks on the future of adult social care, so we can get on with the job of realising our shared ambition of supporting people to live the lives they want to lead.”

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