Labour calls for ten-year plan for social care investment
Labour is calling on the government to implement a ten-year plan for social care reform based on a ‘home first’ guiding principle.
Addressing the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) spring conference, shadow care minister Liz Kendall (pictured) said such a principle requires a “fundamental shift” in the focus of support towards prevention and early intervention.
“We are always going to need residential and nursing homes, but the vast majority of people want to stay in their own homes for as long as possible,” she added.
Basic support and home adaptations would make this possible, said Kendall, as would greater use of technology to help people live independently for longer and expanding housing options between care at home and a care home.
Kendall meanwhile called on the government to guarantee all care workers are paid a least a real living wage of £10 an hour in their plans for social care reform.
Labour also backs a new partnership with unpaid carers, so they get “proper information, advice and breaks and more flexibility in the workplace” to help them balance their work and caring responsibilities.
The shadow care minister also called for social care services to be fully joined up with, but not run by, the NHS.
“One of the biggest complaints I hear is people having to battle their way around all the different services, telling their story time and time again,” she said.
“This isn’t good for them and its wasteful and inefficient too. We need one care system built around the needs of users and families with proper links to areas like housing and education too.”
Kendall said it is essential the government’s delayed reforms are included in the Queen’s speech on 11 May.
“A short-term fix that attempts to paper over the cracks, or just put more money into a broken system, won’t cut the mustard,” she said.