ICG manifesto maps overhaul of social care sector

Representative body Independent Care Group (ICG) has called for an industry task force to lead an overhaul of the British care system in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ICG said the task force should include experts including Care England chief executive Martin Green, UK Homecare Association chief executive Jane Townson, National Care Forum executive director Vic Rayner, National Care Association executive chair Nadra Ahmed, and King’s Fund senior fellow Richard Humphries.
“A time-limited expert-led task force should be set up now to begin rebuilding social care so that it is never again placed in the same perilous situation it is in now,” it added.
A task force is one of a series of measures the ICG has proposed to help rebuild a sector hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak.
The ICG also called for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to waive registration fees for the next 12 months, social care to be zero-rated for VAT, and direct financial support for care providers during the current pandemic paid through the CQC.
In addition, the ICG policy roadmap proposes the “total integration” of NHS healthcare and social care, with care free at the point of need and funded through taxation or National Insurance.
Other proposals include a commissioner for older people and those with learning disabilities in England, a national career pathway and salary framework for care staff, professional registration for care staff, a “properly-costed” national rate for care fees, needs-based continuing healthcare (CHC) payments, and a Covid-19 bonus for all front line care staff.
“There can be no more delays, we have to see action on social care reform and we have to see it now,” said ICG chairman Mike Padgham.
“Social care staff have performed amazingly during the pandemic and deserve to be recognised and rewarded properly in the future, enjoying parity with their NHS colleagues,” he added.