For government to overlook the urgent need to fund and fix social care is misguided says VODG

“Today the Prime Minister has announced additional funding for the NHS. This is recognised to help shore up a system which the regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) describes as ‘precarious’. For government to overlook the urgent need to fund and fix social care is misguided” says the chief executive of the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group Dr Rhidian Hughes.

Writing for the platform Medium, Dr Hughes goes on to say:

“Yet social care sector is a vibrant sector, and its contribution to people and the economy must not be underestimated. Adult social care employers contribute £46.2 billion to the UK economy according to Skills for Care.

Reform is therefore imperative, and the forthcoming social care green paper is long overdue. VODG supports the recent letter sent by ADASS to the Prime Minister about the principles of the paper, highlighting how social care investment “pays dividends for us, our communities, our economy and our NHS.

However, the government’s focus relating to social care seems to be on older people. While we welcome the ‘parallel process’ to focus on disabled, ‘working age’ adults, it is important that the current and future support of disabled people is not sidelined. Disabled people are increasingly living longer and will transition from working age services to services for older people. In addition, the industrial strategy “to create an economy that boosts productivity and earning power” has a strong, important focus on ageing. However, there is surprisingly little focus on all age disability.

The social care sector has experienced years of cuts and underinvestment at a time that demand for support is increasing. The green paper must set out the solutions to ensure our sector has a sustainable future and this opportunity to secure social care services for older and disabled people services that rely on them must not be missed.”

Read the full blog by the VODG chief executive here.