Industry figures from the field of social care have set out five key reforms needed to reinvent the sector, as they look to improve its funding, efficiency, working conditions and public image.
In a new manifesto, the Board directors at the Surrey Care Association said they are “determined” that rather than “sitting back and watching the care sector struggle on”, they look to “solve the puzzle” of social care and present a working plan for reform that sets the industry up for long-term survival and success.
Broken down into five central pillars, the core components of the reforms centre on:
1) A fresh start with a new name, and a new ethos
2) A valued workforce
3) New processes, led by people who access services
4) Fair and transparent funding arrangements to secure a bright long-term future
5) Reformed roles and structures
Within these five pillars, the Board outlines in detail the measures that they believe are necessary to provide a fully functioning service that supports both care recipients and workers, whilst safeguarding the long-term future of the industry.
The initiative was launched with a virtual roundtable event, chaired by Professor Martin Green, CEO of Care England, which, alongside the directors at the Surrey Care Association, was also attended by Jeremy Hunt MP and Sir Robert Francis QC, Chair of Healthwatch England.
David Holmes, director and former Chairman of the Surrey Care Association, said: “Social care has long suffered from a public perception that’s at odds with the reality. In recent years, many people have come to view social care negatively. Since the advent of the pandemic though, the public view has shifted notably. For the first time, social care has been championed alongside the NHS.
“Now, with public awareness and appreciation probably at a high-water mark, we believe it’s the perfect time to reinvent social care, to overhaul its image and create foundations for long-term success. Our paper, ‘Reinventing Social Care’ sets out how we see this being achieved.”
Holmes added: “We want to reinvent the social care system with the focus firmly on the individual. Our radical proposals will ensure that all people accessing social care are supported to live rich and purposeful lives, and the process through which we do this will be consistent and transparent, giving reassurance and breaking down the trust barrier. Our society will come to cherish the incredible and essential work carried out by those who work in care. The term ‘care’ should be a badge of pride and we’re determined to make it so.”
The executive summary of the manifesto can be found via this link.