Social Care and Support
England's social care system is broken. Local Authorities face £700m cuts in 2018-19. With £7 billion slashed since 2010, 26% fewer older people receive support, while demand grows.
Most care is privatised, doesn't reflect users' needs and wishes; charges are high.
Consequences include isolation, indignity maltreatment. Disabled and elderly people face barriers to inclusion and independent living, thousands feel neglected. 8 million unpaid, overworked family carers, including children and elderly relatives, provide vital support.
Public money goes to shareholders and hedge funds as profits. Service users and families face instability as companies go bust.
Staff wages, training and conditions are slashed. Staff turnover is over 30%.
We recommend that Labour legislates a duty on the SoS to provide a universal system of social care and support based on a universal right to independent living:
• Free at the point of use
• Fully funded through progressive taxation
• Subject to national standards based on article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities addressing people's aspirations and choices and with robust safeguarding procedures.
• Publicly, democratically run services, designed and delivered locally, co-productively involving local authorities, the NHS and service users, disabled people and carers
• Nationally agreed training, qualifications, career structure, pay and conditions.
• Giving informal carers the rights and support they need.
Labour should establish a taskforce involving user and carers organisations, trade unions, pensioners and disabled people's organisations to develop proposals for a national independent living support service, available free to all on the basis of need.
National independent living service – from the ROFA document http://www.rofa.org.uk/independent-living-for-the-future/
The social care element of Disabled people's right to independent living will be administered through a new national independent living service managed by central government, but delivered locally in co-production with Disabled people. It will be provided on the basis of need, not profit, and will not be means tested. It will be independent of, but sit alongside, the NHS and will be funded from direct taxation.
The national independent living service will be responsible for supporting disabled people through the self-assessment/assessment process, reviews and administering payments to individual Disabled people. Individuals will not be obliged to manage their support payments themselves if they choose not to.
The national independent living service will be located in a cross-government body which can ensure awareness of and take responsibility for implementation plans in all areas covered by the UNCRPD's General Comment on Article 19 and by the twelve pillars of independent living, whether it be in transport, education, employment, housing, or social security. The cross-government body will also be responsible for ensuring that intersectional issues are adequately addressed.