13 Jun 2024

The Homecare Association cautiously welcomes Labour's commitment to reforming social care. We are, however, disappointed that Labour lacks a bold vision, as we look to a future with a rapidly ageing society.

Continuing with the Conservative Party’s plans for charging reform is a step in the right direction but an incoming government must go further.

A lifetime cap on care costs will, in principle, help self-funders but does not address the fundamental issue of chronic underfunding in the sector. Local authorities said they could not implement these reforms when originally announced because of lack of funding and time. Many councils are struggling to balance their books and are cutting services and jobs. Without a significant increase in central government funding for social care, progress is unlikely.

Tackling workforce challenges is essential, but Labour must recognise the interconnected responsibilities of central government, local commissioners, regulators, and providers. Policies that focus disproportionately on providers while not addressing funding, commissioning, and regulation, are unlikely to achieve the desired impact.

Our manifesto sets out seven areas for action for an incoming government. We want to see policies enabling people to remain at home, with a focus on early support and prevention. Collaboration across health, care, housing and the voluntary sectors is vital. So is amplifying the voices of those needing and giving care. We need investment in the workforce as well as in technology solutions, which enable us to meet rising demand and complexity of need. Pooling risk and investing adequately is crucial for improving accessibility to care. More funding will enable commissioning for value and outcomes, effective regulation, and high-quality provision.

In response, CEO of the Homecare Association, Dr Jane Townson OBE said:

”We urge Labour to engage closely with the homecare sector to create meaningful change.

“With a rapidly ageing population and a system already at breaking point, piecemeal changes are not enough. We need new approaches and constructive partnership working to build a social care system that listens to those who need support and care and values the vital contribution of our skilled, dedicated care workers.”

The full manifesto is available to read here.

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