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New SCIE report makes important recommendations for social care reform

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COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on social care. By June 2020 there had been more than 30,500 excess deaths among care home residents, and social care staff have been more than twice as likely to die from COVID-19 as other adults. Deep-rooted inequalities in society have also been amplified by the crisis, as have the sector’s fragile finances and the low pay and conditions experienced by many care workers.

In a new report titled Beyond COVID: New thinking on the future of adult social care, the social care institute for excellence (SCIE) has set out three strategic shifts which are needed to overcome the immense challenges being faced in the social care sector, along with 21 recommendations that will help facilitate rapid progress towards these goals. The SCIE calls on the Government to consider these proposals as it develops its thinking on the long-term plan for social care.

Three Strategic Shifts:
Follow the link to the report to view a detailed overview of each shift and recommendations. 

Shift 1: To shift the sector from surviving hand-to-mouth, to the point where it has long-term and sustainable funding 

Shift 2: To shift investment and focus away from remedial and acute services, towards community-centred preventative models of care, support, housing and technology

Shift 3: To shift the workforce away from low pay, low recognition and poor conditions, towards higher pay, better conditions and parity of esteem with the NHS 

21 recommendations:
For the Government, other national bodies and local authorities to consider under a number of themes.

The report concludes with the following statement:

Now is the time for bold action to transform social care for decades to come. After nearly 20 years of underfunding it is time to call time on austerity. The adult social care system needs a long-term funding settlement; one that is simpler, fairer and helps tackle the fundamental inequalities which exist in society.

However, more funding alone will not be enough. Mirroring what has happened in the NHS – which now has a long-term plan – we need an ambitious reform plan which is fit for the future. We must commit to a progressive new vision for adult social care which clearly articulates the vital role social care plays in society – of a more preventative, asset-based, accessible, co-produced and joined-up system of care and support. This vision should be accompanied by a clear timetabled roadmap setting out how this vision will be realised. As much as possible, this roadmap should be co-produced with the sector, and those with lived experience, so that it reflects the aspirations and ideas which reside in communities.

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