The Independent Care Group (ICG) today called on the Labour Party not to ‘hide’ its plans for social care reform from its manifesto ahead of the General Election.
Reports suggest the party is planning to leave plans for social care reform out of its manifesto.
But Mike Padgham, Chair of the ICG, says this would be the wrong decision.
“If the Labour Party is serious about creating a National Care Service, about reforming social care and about giving the social care workforce the pay and conditions they deserve then they should be bold and upfront and say so in their manifesto,” he said.
“How much harder would it be to make these things a reality in Government if they haven’t been promised to the electorate in a manifesto?
“Politicians are seemingly afraid of talking about social care reform but surely the public want to see how the political parties are going to meet the challenge of finding care for the 1.6m who can’t currently get it and the many hundreds of thousands more who will need it in the future?
“They are presumably terrified of talking about cost but what it needs is a sensible conversation about how to switch some resources from NHS healthcare into social care – in particular keeping people safe and well in their own home and, where needed, in care and nursing homes – rather than in hospital beds.
“Money saved from unnecessary hospital care can be switched to properly fund social care and to meeting current and future demand for care, so the cost to the public purse might not be as high as people are fearing.
“What is vital is that the political parties come out and say what they plan to do for social care. Their initial plans might not be perfect but the longer we continue with inaction the worse the situation becomes – more and more people living without care, providers closing and people still having to sell their homes to pay for care.
“The case for reform is now overwhelming, we need our politicians to be brave and get on with it.”
The ICG has set out its priorities for reform in its Five Pillars of Social Care Reform document. The five pillars are:
- Ring fence a percentage of GDP to be spent on providing social
care to those who already receive it and the 1.6m who can’t get it
- Create a unified National Care Service, incorporating health and
- Set a National Minimum Wage per hour for care staff on a par
- Set up an urgent social care task force to oversee reform
- Fix ‘fair price for care’ tariffs for things like care beds and