We welcome the commitment of the Prime Minister to increasing funding to social care as this has been
desperately needed by the sector for a very long time. We are, however, very worried about the ambiguity
of his statement, and unsure as to how much of the money raised by the levy he proposed will go to directly
to frontline social care. We are outraged that it appears only a very small proportion of the money promised
will in fact go to social care. The sector urgently needs clarification and confirmation with regards to how
much money will be directed to social care- if the healthcare-centred statement today is any indication of
the proportion of funding the social care sector might expect to receive, then there is very little hope of any
real reform and/or improvements benefiting the sector, its workforce and the quality of care received by
those who draw on social care provision.
The Care Workers’ Charity is extremely disappointed that the statement made today was predominantly
centred around the NHS, healthcare and health needs- as healthcare services do not, and indeed could not,
exist in a vacuum. The social care sector occupies a vital role in health and care provision, the wider society
and UK economy- not least in the provision of high quality, person centred care for those who access its
services. The Prime Minister greatly praised the role and work of the “amazing” NHS and healthcare staff
during the pandemic, but appeared to have forgotten the social care sector and its workforce who have
given their all with very little recognition, respect and appreciation received in return. Unfortunately, this set
the tone for content of the rest of his statement, and once again healthcare remained the focus and primary
beneficiary of the proposed plans and policies. We would encourage the Prime Minister, and the
Department of Health and Social Care, to make additional statements to clarify its position and plans for the
social care sector with the utmost urgency.
Furthermore, the proposed integration between health and social care revisited in the statement today is an
ongoing concern for The Care Workers’ Charity. The Bill earlier this year was very clearly driven by the needs
of the healthcare system, prioritising the NHS at the expense of social care. For the integration goals of the
Bill to be deliverable, the social care sector and its professionals need be given the same parity, status and
recognition as the NHS- but nowhere in the statement made today were the social care workforce
mentioned or indeed praised for their continued skill and dedication.
The Charity paid out £2.2 million last year to social care workers in crisis, filling the huge gap between their
salary and living costs. This devastating figure represents the failings of the current social care system, and
the dire need for real reform that properly recognises and respects the workforce, increases funding to
providers and local councils, and treats the sector with the respect it so rightly deserves.
Following his initial statement, the Prime Minister commented that his was “the party that tackles social
care [and] the party of the NHS”- for too long the social care sector and its workforce have been sidelined
and problematised by successive Governments. We call on the Prime Minister to urgently revisit his
statement to ensure a parity of esteem between health and social care, and to shape his reform plans to
deliver the funding and professionalisation the sector so desperately needs.
Karolina Gerlich, CEO of The Care Workers’ Charity