United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) has released its manifesto for home care, urging all political parties to commit to supporting older and disabled people to live well and independently at home.
The manifesto calls on all candidates standing for election to commit to ensure that people receiving care in their own homes can remain healthy and independent, while also enabling family members to combine caring responsibilities with family life and employment.
It urges the next government to make care and support at home an affordable and available option for everyone who needs it, given that the majority of people would choose to live independently at home.
It also called on the elected party to relieve pressure on the NHS through the effective use of home care services, which help people manage medication safely at home, support complex treatment and promote health and well-being to keep people out of hospital.
Thirdly, the manifesto urges the next government to recognise the contribution of home care workers and develop and expand the workforce.
“The new government must develop a national care workforce strategy, improve the status of care as a career and ensure a post-Brexit migration policy which recognises overseas workers’ experience and value,” it says.
The elected government must also make it easier for people who are willing or able to fund their own care at home to plan and pay for services, UKHCA said, and create a strong and resilient state-funded social care market.
UKHCA repeated calls for the government to inject an additional £8 billion per year into the system and require councils and the NHS to work with social care providers to calculate and pay the real costs of care.
The government must also ensure the public are protected from unregulated social care workers, the trade body said.
“The public has less protection if they employ or engage care workers through private arrangements, or use organisations which solely introduce workers through the Internet,” UKHCA added.
Finally, the manifesto calls on the next government to promote quality, innovation and best practice in home care services.
“If technological solutions were integrated across social care and health, citizens could experience seamless services which are safer and tailored to individuals. Harnessing the power of ‘big data’ will enable better prediction of, and response to, people’s changing needs,” the manifesto concludes.
Photo credit: Radfield Home Care.