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Archbishop of Canterbury calls for new ‘covenant’ for social care

The Archbishop of Canterbury has called on the government to set out a clear vision for social care that puts it on a par with the NHS.

Speaking to the Guardian, Justin Welby said social care reform that considers the person before financial costs should be a “national obligation”.

“We keep putting the cart before the horse. We keep talking about how we are going to pay for it when we don't really know what we want to pay for,” he added.

"There isn’t a clear vision for care. We know the vision for the NHS: ‘free care at the point of use’. You can sum it up in a sentence."

Welby continued: “You have to have a covenantal approach, which says regardless of who you are, of your economic value, of your utility, society covenants to give you the best possible care it can as you approach the end of your life.”

The Guardian reports Welby and the archbishop of York have commissioned a review of social care to examine the wishes and needs of people who use it, which will report in the spring.

The Archbishops’ Commission on Reimagining Care is chaired by Dr Anna Dixon.

The commission has produced a list of values to underpin a future vision of care. They “include concepts that are not usually heard in policy discussions about care, such as flourishing, loving kindness, empathy, trust and justice”.

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