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NCF stands ready to work with new government to transform social care

by Kirsty Kirsty

The National Care Forum (NCF), the leading association for not-for-profit social care, has
responded to the results of the General Election.

Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of National Care Forum said: “We send our congratulations to Sir Keir
Starmer and his ministerial team on their resounding victory in the General Election. We
stand ready, as the not-for-profit care and support sector, to ensure that the new
government is supported to focus on the immediate social care reform and investment that
is needed and that voters have indicated they want to see.

“The new government now has a once in a generation opportunity to bring real change to
the millions of people who depend on social care or struggle to access it, as well as their
families, unpaid carers and wider communities. We urge the government to seize this
opportunity and we reiterate our readiness to support them with the work that will be
required to develop and deliver their manifesto commitments.

“Building a National Care Service and implementing a fair pay agreement for care workers,
as set out in the Labour manifesto, are long-term propositions. NCF and our not-for-profit
members, who run a diverse range of services, have the expertise to help the new
administration shape and implement those plans in ways that empower adults of all ages,
with different circumstances, to live their best lives. A dedicated and funded workforce
strategy will be essential to make sure care workers are better valued and can pursue the
training and development they need for their career choices in care.

“Long-term and sustainable care and support underpins the government’s plans for
economic growth because social care enables choice and control, it supports local
economies and employment opportunities, and it tackles inequalities.
“Social care matters to us all and so there are several things we ask the new government to
begin now:

  • Think Social Care First: Within the first 100 parliamentary days, set out a clear plan
    to reform adult social care, with timescales for short-term, medium-term and longterm goals as well as vision and engagement. Any vision for the future of social care
    will need to recognise the place of innovation and technology in helping people to
    live well and independently for longer.
  • Improve the pay, terms and conditions of the workforce: Alongside a funded fair
    pay agreement to improve pay across the care workforce, set out a dedicated and
    funded workforce strategy for social care and plans to work with the sector to create
    a professional body to represent care workers alongside professional registration.
  • Invest in people, not profit: Commit to a 10-year plan to increase the proportion of
    social care delivered by not-for-profit providers. Not-for-profit care provision
    ensures better value for the public pound as all the funding from either government
    or citizens is directed towards the delivery of care. That money remains in the sector
    and is reinvested into the workforce and used to improve the quality of care, rather
    than leaking out of services.
  • Recognise social care as integral to economic growth: Put social care at the heart of
    the government’s Industrial Strategy as it seeks to grow the economy. It is a sector
    that contributes £55.7bn GVA per year to the English economy and employs more
    people than the NHS. Good social care enables some people in receipt of care and,
    crucially, their unpaid carers (often women) to join or return to the workforce. It is
    also a powerful tool in addressing inequalities.
  • Enshrine rights, fairness and choice for people in a National Care Covenant: Within
    the first 100 parliamentary days, begin a series of national conversations which lead
    to the co-production of a ‘social contract’ that sets out the mutual rights and
    responsibilities of individual citizens, families, communities and the state in
    providing support and paying for it.
    “Our ask and our offer to the new government: Seize the opportunity now to start to
    address the systemic issues at the heart of our social care system and transform it to ensure
    care workers are valued and paid properly, and people live good lives whatever their
    circumstances. We stand ready to work with you as the voice of the not-for-profit care and
    support sector and invite you to speak with our members and visit their services.”

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