RSC’S RESPONSE TO THE 2020 BUDGET AND COVID 19
Reclaim Social Care members are concerned about the lack of government advice about COVID-19 for disabled and elderly people dependent on social care and support for their daily living arrangements, and the workforce providing that care and support.
We note that the current Public Health England advice is that care workers should carry out a risk assessment before they visit a person who is self-isolating and ascertain if they are symptomatic. If there is a possibility that they are symptomatic a face to face visit should not take place, and the person should be left in their room with the door closed, and dial 111. Many disabled and elderly people are totally dependent on the support of a care worker to undertake daily living tasks and there is no indication what they are meant to do while waiting for a COVID-19 test which could take several days, or how they are to get a test. There is no indication what would happen to the person if they are found to be positive but not critically ill.
Also there is no advice on how care agencies, residential establishments and people reliant on direct payments can ensure they have a sufficient workforce to undertake the necessary care.
As it is likely that people are to be asked to stay at home if they have mild symptoms of COVID-19, there needs to be urgent guidance for care workers, personal assistants and family and friend carers on how they are to continue to provide that care and support.
We also note that the budget on11th March 2020 made little reference to social care and only provided a hardship fund of £500million for local authorities in England to help vulnerable people in their areas. This will be be a drop in the ocean when local authorities are already facing impossible decisions to balance their budgets because of the ongoing underfunding is social care.
We call for the following urgently:
- Local authorities to publish their contingency plans for safeguarding elderly and disabled people who may be at risk of not receiving the care and support they need as a result of COVID-19
- The issuing of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to care providers and carers’ organisations.
- Training on the use of PPE
- Recruitment of people prepared to provide care and support in the home for people tested positive or waiting to be tested that are dependent on support for daily living tasks
- Local authorities to set up a hotline for those in receipt of direct payments to monitor their ability to continue to access the support they need
- Local authorities to requisition empty care homes to be used when it becomes impossible for people to be cared for in their own homes but who do not need hospital care.
- The requisitioning of private hospital facilities if extra beds are needed
Disabled and elderly people, their family and friends and the care workers and Personal Assistants need reassurance that they are not going to be left on their own and that they are valued.
TORY GOVERNMENT’S STATEMENT ON SOCIAL CARE – PRESS RELEASE 16-1-20
Mr Johnson says that the Tories will produce a plan on social care within 12 months and have the changes introduced by 2025.
These are the same promises we have seen for years and we remain totally sceptical that any progress will be made. We currently have a system that is starved of resource, privatised, fragmented and sometimes dangerous to people and staff.
Reclaim Social Care is clear that the country requires social care to be:
- based on supporting independent living for all
- free at the point of use
- paid for, like the NHS, through central taxation
- brought into the public sector
- staffed by people well supported and with a positive career structure
- with financial support for voluntary carers
We do not expect that the current government will have the vision to move in this direction. Reclaim Social Care will continue to campaign against cuts and fight for a new vision of social care.
NATIONAL INDEPENDENT LIVING SUPPORT SERVICE (NILSS)
RSC supports Reclaiming our Futures Alliance vision on the future of independent living for disabled people, see their webpage
and download the Independent Living for the Future document
FUNDING SOCIAL CARE AND SUPPORT
This paper explores how RSC recommends funding social care and support:
BRINGING SOCIAL CARE BACK INTO THE PUBLIC REALM
This paper explains mechanisms that could bring both domiciliary and residential care into the public sector
NO FULL INTEGRATION BETWEEN HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE
DEMOCRACY AND SOCIAL CARE
Thoughts from Richard Hatcher on ‘Co-production, social care and participatory democracy’
SOCIAL CARE COMPOSITE RESOLUTION PASSED AT LABOUR PARTY CONFERENCE SEPTEMBER 2019
This was brought together from motions from across the country, many based on Reclaim Social Care’s text. It is now Labour Party policy.
Conference notes the current postcode lottery of Social Care funding and the real hardship and unfairness this causes, impacting on the most vulnerable within our society reducing life expectancy, health outcomes and wellbeing.
Labour to develop a universal care and support service working with user groups, in collaboration with a national independent living support service and available to all on basis of need, based on Article 19 of the UNCRPD.
England’s social care system is broken. Local Authorities face £700million cuts in 2018-19. With £7billion slashed since 2010. 26% fewer older people receive support, while demand grows. Most care is privatised, doesn’t reflect users’ needs and wishes, whilst charges increase.
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.
Make the provision of all social care free to recipients as is the case for health care under the NHS.
- That provides a new universal right to independent living
- Enshrined in law and delivered through a new National Independent Living Service co-created between government and service users.
Consequences of marrying social care to the NHS include medicalisation, isolation, indignity, maltreatment, bringing social care under a struggling NHS umbrella is not the answer.
Transfer responsibility for funding social care from the LA to the national exchequer through progressive taxation.
Distribute funding to the LAs for social care on the basis of the population served (age, sex and deprivation) and the cost of care.
Locally democratic and designed by service users and carers in partnership with LAs and the NHS, delivered as far as possible by service users.
Publicly, democratically run services, designed and delivered locally, co-productively involving local authorities, the NHS and service users, disabled people and carers.
Providing staff with nationally agreed training qualifications, career structure, pay and conditions.
Fund social care to provide a pay rise of at least 35% to all care workers.
Giving informal carers the rights and support they need.
Conference resolves that within the first term of a new Labour government to provide a universal system of social care and support based on a universal right to independent living.