12 Jan 2021

Invest in our people - VODG responds to adult social care white paper

1 December 2021 In response to today’s publication of the Adult Social Care White Paper – People at the Heart of Care. Dr Rhidian Hughes, Chief Executive of the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG), said:“We stand for a society where disabled people can flourish, drawing on care and support services, to enable independent and fulfilling lives. We thank the Minister of State for Care for publishing People at the Heart of Care and it is encouraging that the vision for care is one that we can all support. Everyday staff within our members’ services are delivering care and support underpinned by these shared values.“The intention behind today’s publication is admirable but what we need from government is reassurance that further financial investment will be forthcoming to alleviate the immediate pressures being harshly felt today. The reality of underfunding has been increasingly highlighted in recent weeks. It’s clear that funding from central to local government is insufficient to cover the costs of providing high quality care and support and the tragic result is people are losing out on support. The new initiatives that the White Paper will introduce, such as digitisation and housing investment, are to be applauded but we are left searching for the immediate and tangible plans for change, with the funding behind it, that disabled people and their families, and the workforce supporting them, can genuinely get behind today.

“Every day, our members are losing staff to other sectors because services for disabled people are commissioned at such low pay rates. Sadly, government’s ambitions to improve the lot of care workers falls far short today with no measurable impact on care worker take home pay. We believe that it is only by investing in our people and rewarding and lifting care staff out of low pay, will the long-term ambitions set out in the White Paper be fully realised.

“Now is the time for the Minister to strengthen engagement with people who draw on social care, and the services and organisations behind them. VODG stands by to play its part so the implementation of these policy ambitions is well informed by the experience of our members.”

VODG Media Centre