Independent Lives is proud to support the #socialcarefuture movement calling on Ministers to break their silence on the future funding of social care.

You can read the statement below, and please share on your own social media.

Social Care leaders call on the Government to end 25 years of inaction and fix the social care system

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on those of us who are older or have a disability. Tens of thousands of people needing care and support and hundreds of social care staff and social workers have died. While older and disabled people, our brilliant workers and millions of dedicated family carers have shown extraordinary resilience in unprecedented circumstances, the crisis has also laid bare the fragilities in our care and support services.

The government has promised to “fix the crisis in social care”. Regrettably, the budget was a missed opportunity to start to do so and to provide desperately needed relief for people living without the support they need, exhausted family carers and social care staff.

Much of the special funding for exceptional Covid-19 costs runs out at the end of this month and there has been no announcement of what, if anything, is to follow. The absence of social care in the Budget was therefore disappointing and a missed chance to provide much-needed certainty for the short-term for everyone who draws on, or works in social care.

Provision of an extra minimum £3bn for the extra liabilities of local government as a whole, mooted in the 2020 Spending Review is welcome, but will have to cover costs beyond social care including councils’ loss of income and special health and safety arrangements for local elections in May. We need to understand urgently what funding will be provided for social care itself from 1 April.

But as well as emergency funding, we need longer-term investment. The budget would have been a perfect opportunity to harness the enormous potential of adult social care to create jobs and help drive economic recovery. Care and support can transform not only lives, but also communities. This understanding must be at the heart of the long-awaited plan to make social care the cornerstone of a modern welfare state. That plan must go beyond simply determining who pays for care.

On behalf of more than 10 million citizens – whether we have care and support needs, are family carers or are professionals who seek to meet those needs - we are calling on the Government to:

  1. Extend and increase funding to stabilise the care system, including immediate help to meet the continuing costs of Covid-19 and to offer respite to care workers and family carers, ensuring continued provision of high-quality services and support.
  2. Publish its proposals for the future of adult social care before the summer parliamentary recess. This will give MPs the opportunity during the summer to hear from their constituents about the care and the support they want for themselves and their families.

The Government has an opportunity to create a lasting legacy of being the Government that fixed social care, once and for all. We stand ready to work with the Government to build and deliver a vision of 21st century care and support that works for all of us. But we need our elected leaders to end 25 years of indecision and take the all-important first step.

You can read the full press release here.