Care England, the largest representative body for independent care providers, has published its manifesto for the sector.
Professor Martin Green OBE, chief executive of Care England, said: “Expectations from citizens have risen. They experience social and health care as a continuum and the current financial challenges make the delivery of such expectations untenable.
“As the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care, across older people, people with learning or physical disabilities and mental health, Care England believes that government policy needs to shift in order to ensure that the post Brexit system is fit for purpose and provides what citizens really need and want.”
The key proposals of the manifesto are:
The value of high quality independent care services needs to be understood by all politicians, not just service users and their families.
Care services need to be properly funded and state funding should be at a sustainable level that meets the real costs of providing high quality care.
Providers should be respected, treated fairly and have a voice in the strategic direction of social and health care services.
People need to have choice and the flexibility to select the care that best suits their requirements.
Independent care sector (ICS) staff should have appropriate training, fair pay and career structures in place.
Martin added: “If we are going to meet the challenges of the 21st century, we have to get social care right and this will require some clear political leadership. We need citizens to know what they should expect from the system, and what the system will expect them to contribute to receive high quality personalised care. There is a need for a national approach, which is not left to the vagaries of a postcode lottery and is integrated with every aspect of our lives.
“Citizens of the 21st century want to have good lives, and the services that support them should be flexible and almost invisible to the consumer. The health and care system needs to stop its obsession with structures and focus on outcomes. 21st century health and social care should be part of a seamless amalgam of policy and services that support people to live dignified and autonomous lives. Social care services are vital to citizens and important to our economy, and they should be seen as a national priority.”