Organisations from all corners of the health and social care system have come out in support of the recommendations outlined in Care For Our Future and coalesced around its vision and framework for delivering change. Adopting a staggered approach to reform, our roadmap accounts for the challenging economic situation likely to be inherited by the next Government, prioritising measures that would stabilise the sector in the immediate term and laying the foundations for more ambitious reform over a medium- and long-term timeframe.
You can read the Care For Our Future roadmap here:
Steve Brine MP, Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee, said in support of a long-term adult social care funding settlement, with a £10bn annual funding boost:
“I fully support Care England’s call for a long term workforce strategy for the adult social care sector, which desperately needs stability and long-term funding commitments in order to deliver its vital services and help free up bed capacity in the NHS. I hope that Ministers read the report carefully and provide a full response in due course.”
Paul Nowak, General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), said in support of implementing a fully-funded £15 minimum care wage and developing parity of esteem with NHS staff:
“This is a much-needed intervention from Care England. The staffing crisis in social care can’t be fixed unless we improve pay and conditions. A £15 an hour minimum wage would be a game-changer and crucially keep more skilled carers in the profession. The current situation is unsustainable. Up and down the country people are waiting longer for the support they need because care workers are quitting in their droves. Investing in our social care workforce is a no-brainer. It will improve care services, help clear the backlog in the NHS and boost the economy.”
Rebecca Pearson, General Manager of UK Care Services at Bupa Care Services, said in support of zero-rating VAT for welfare services:
“At a time when sustainable financial initiatives are needed in the adult social care sector, this change to the VAT treatment would offer a longer-term means for care providers to manage their increasing costs. Our care homes are continuing to face substantially higher costs. The most recent fair cost of care exercise highlighted that there is a £2.3bn gap between the FCOC figures and fees paid to providers. Combined with an increase of 35% in energy costs from 2021 to 2022 for our homes, high inflationary pressures and growing staff costs, social care providers like ourselves are under exceptional pressures. Whilst as a larger provider, we are able to shoulder some of the additional cost pressures in the shorter term, without new measures that allow providers to manage their rising costs, many smaller providers will simply struggle to stay afloat in the current climate.”
“With a recruitment crisis within the sector, providers need the ability to attract talent both domestically and internationally, and this newly-created initiative would free-up resource to incentivise workers and facilitate international recruitment.”
Andrew Knight, Chief Executive of Care UK, said in support of a hospital discharge strategy and £1,500 minimum national discharge tariff:
“Care providers need to be paid fairly for looking after those discharged from hospital. If we were paid consistently and fairly across the sector, then providers such as ourselves would be better able to support the NHS by putting in place care frameworks designed to improve the speed and effectiveness of discharges – ultimately resulting in a more joined-up approach that improves the experience of patients and their families. Without paying providers a rate which enables them to reinvest in developing their services and expanding capacity, finding care home places to discharge patients from hospital will only become more challenging as we face increased demand for specialist care from an ageing population with complex care needs.”
Karolina Gerlich, CEO of the Care Workers’ Charity (CWC), said in support of mandatory professional registration of adult social care staff:
“The Care Workers’ Charity welcomes Care England’s recommendation to mandate the professional registration of adult social care staff in England. The adult social care workforce is the sector’s most valuable asset and something that should be recognised, appreciated and celebrated. A professional register would help raise the status of working in care, and highlight the fantastic and life-changing work colleagues across the sector do on a day to day basis.”
Jake Rollin, Director of Commissioned Care and Commercial Support at HC-One, said in support of a hospital discharge strategy and £1,500 national discharge tariff:
“Care England’s recommendation of a £1,500 national tariff for discharge represents a pragmatic lever to help improve the hospital discharge process. The price is only part of the problem though. We need to go back to basics and improve the current commissioning, contracting and pathway practice within the sector. If we get these right, along with the price, we will unlock capacity within the system and assure success for those who draw on care and support.”
Liz Blacklock, CEO and Paul Featherstone, Founder of National Association of Care and Support Workers (NACAS), said in support of Care For Our Future:
“We are pleased to officially endorse the Care England Roadmap, a visionary and comprehensive framework that charts the path for the future of social care in our nation. The National Association of Care & Support Workers fully supports the goals, values, and strategies outlined in this essential roadmap.
As the leading association representing care and support workers across the country, we recognize the critical need for a well-defined roadmap that addresses the challenges and opportunities facing our industry. The Care England Roadmap embodies a forward-thinking approach, reflecting the collective efforts of industry leaders, professionals, policymakers, and stakeholders. The core principles of the Care England Roadmap align perfectly with our mission to promote excellence in care provision, champion the rights of care workers, and ensure the highest standards of care for individuals in need. By advocating for workforce development, improved working conditions, and increased recognition for care and support workers, this roadmap not only elevates our profession but also enriches the lives of those we serve. Our endorsement signifies our commitment to collaborating with Care England and other partners to ensure the successful implementation of the roadmap’s objectives. We are dedicated to fostering a supportive environment that enables care workers to flourish while enhancing the overall quality of care delivery. Together, we can bring about meaningful change, drive innovation, and create a brighter future for care and support workers, as well as the individuals and families who depend on our services.
By embracing the Care England Roadmap, we embark on a journey towards a stronger, more resilient, and person-centred social care sector. Thank you for your unwavering dedication to advancing our field. We are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead and are proud to stand alongside Care England in realising this transformative vision.”
Amanda Sullivan, Chief Executive of NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICB, said in support of a fully mapped prevention and integration plan:
“A long term and consistent approach to tackling health inequalities and promoting equity of provision is much needed all across the health and care system, including the social care sector. The proposals contained in this section of Care England’s report would make a real difference to the residents of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire and more widely. We are already committed to this agenda through our Health Inequalities and Innovation Fund – a multi-year commitment to supporting integration activities which support the most vulnerable in our society, backed up with real money on a recurrent basis.”
Nicola McLeish, Chief Executive Officer of Surrey Care Association, said in support of direct adult social care representation at all ICS levels:
“The Adult Social Care sector plays an essential part in the smooth running of Integrated Care Systems. Recognising that there should be parity between social care and NHS staff would be an important step forward, and enabling the sector to be represented throughout the system in Surrey is an essential part of this. As such the Surrey Care Association welcomes Care England’s publication which recognises the importance of the sector.”
Ian Smith, Chair of NHS Surrey Heartlands ICB, said in support of direct adult social care representation at all ICS levels:
“Direct adult social care representation at every system level is fundamental to ensuring that meaningful integration can take place and improve outcomes for the people we support. Care England’s proposal to mandate direct adult social care representation at all ICS levels would ensure that providers are recognised as the long-term strategic partners they have consistently proven to be and unlock new ways for ICSs to further enhance the quality of care for all.
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. We welcome Care England’s publication and urge key decision-makers to lend serious consideration to its recommendations as measures that address the sector’s needs and would help contribute to a sustainable future for adult social care.”
Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“Our incredible adult social care staff go to extraordinary lengths to provide vital care and support to millions of people, despite facing immense challenges. Social care faces a huge recruitment and retention crisis, the demands on which will only increase unless care vacancies are filled. A dedicated plan to promote, protect, support and develop careers in social care, alongside better pay, terms and conditions, would both strengthen the wellbeing and recognition of those who work in this essential vocation, as well as benefit the people who draw on care.”