Leading figures in the care industry, spearheaded by the Surrey Care Association, have set out what they believe to be the key reforms needed within social care to secure its long-term future in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
Industry leaders have set out suggested reforms, in a bid to reinvent social care, by improving its funding, efficiency, working conditions, and public image.
Social care has come under the spotlight throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and public consciousness of the value of the sector has never been greater. Staff have been working tirelessly, often at great personal risk and sacrifice, to keep people safe from harm. Consequently, more and more are recognising the essential contribution of carers and their ancillary support workers to society.
However, leaders in the social care industry claim the sector is underfunded and undervalued, with recipients of care and their families facing wildly varying fees and often a lack of genuine choice about the nature and provision of care received.
The board of directors at the Surrey Care Association, are working on a plan for reform and reinvention that sets the industry up for long-term survival and success. Surrey Care Association have produced a 60-paged manifesto, which outlines the key steps they think should be taken to overhaul and reinvigorate the sector.
Broken down into 5 central pillars, the core components to reinvent social care are centred on:
1) A fresh start with a new name, and a new ethos.
2) A valued workforce.
3) New processes led by people who access services.
4) Fair and transparent funding arrangements to secure a bright long-term future.
5) Reformed roles and structures.
Within these five pillars, the board outline in detail the measures that they believe are necessary to provide a fully functioning service that supports both care recipients and workers, whilst safeguarding the long-term future of the industry.
The initiative has been launched with a virtual roundtable event, chaired by Professor Martin Green, CEO of Care England, which, alongside the directors at the Surrey Care Association, was also attended by the Rt. Hon. Jeremy Hunt MP and Sir Robert Francis QC, Chair of Healthwatch England.
David Holmes, Director and former Chairman of the Surrey Care Association said, ‘Social care has long suffered from a public perception that’s at odds with the reality. In recent years, many people have come to view social care negatively. Since the advent of the pandemic, the public view has shifted notably. For the first time, social care has been championed alongside the NHS.
‘Now, with public awareness and appreciation probably at a high-water mark, we believe it is the perfect time to reinvent social care, to overhaul its image and create foundations for long-term success. Our paper, ‘Reinventing Social Care’ sets out how we see this being achieved.”
‘We want to reinvent the Social Care system with the focus firmly on the individual. Our radical proposals will ensure that all people accessing Social Care are supported to live rich and purposeful lives, and the process through which we do this will be consistent and transparent, giving reassurance and breaking down the trust barrier. Our society will come to cherish the incredible and essential work carried out by those who work in care. The term ‘care’ should be a badge of pride and we’re determined to make it so.’
Visit: The Surrey Social Care Association for more information. The main report on ‘Reinventing Social Care’ will be published in the next few days on the Surrey Care Association website.
These aren't the only suggested reforms within the social care industry. Find out more about the winter funding recommended actions, set out by The Association of Directors of Adult social care services.