VODG responds to government’s announcement of new social care sector COVID-19 support taskforce

In response to today’s announcement about the launch of a new social care sector COVID-19 support taskforce, Dr Rhidian Hughes, chief executive of VODG said:

“VODG is encouraged by this step forward. But we remain concerned about the ongoing slow response of government, and again with a policy announcement that risks overlooking the needs of disabled people and their carers and staff.

“The aim of the taskforce is to support the care sector and prevent further transmission. VODG is calling for this new initiative to ensure an equitable public health response is in place. This should put everyone who relies on social care services at the centre of the response.”

To achieve this, VODG is calling for the taskforce to adopt these five key principles:

  • Put the views of people who use social care services, their families and carers at the centre. The taskforce should also be co-chaired by an expert by experience who uses social care services and is able to engage the views of citizens directly.
  • Engage across the entire social care sector to focus on the whole range of adult support services, whether or not regulated by the Care Quality Commission, and Ofsted for children’s services. This will require a shift in emphasis away from government’s ongoing focus on care homes to the whole range of care services that people use and should also include direct employers who pay for their own staff.
  • Give the workforce a say and engage the views and experiences of first line leaders.
  • Be transparent and open to constructive challenge, new ideas and solutions. Call for evidence and use the expertise within the sector to co-produce proposals and solutions that will work for everyone.
  • Enable learning to be shared through the work of the taskforce by publishing proceedings and, where appropriate, holding open (online) meetings accessible to all.