The Government must make adult social care a national imperative by establishing long term funding if the system is to be made fairer and more visible, says the House of Lords adult social care committee.
The committee’s latest report, entitled ‘a gloriously ordinary life’ highlighted the importance of adult social care and called on the Government to take more action. However, some social care experts are worried that this will not address the core issue.
The reports authors put forward three key changes, so that adult social care can become ‘a progressive, visible, fairer and kinder system.’
These changes are: to make adult social care a ‘national imperative’, to ‘see people who draw on care having the same choice and control over their lives as other people’, and to remove ‘the assumption that families will automatically provide care and support.’
However, Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, told Nursing in Practice that, while he was ‘pleased to see’ a very clear set of recommendations, ‘It would be impossible to deliver this on the current financial envelope.
‘It would require the government to either reapportion money across the system from the NHS to social care, or provide significant extra funding in the region of £15 billion a year.’
The report also found that stigma and prejudice against disabled adults and older people has ‘tangible repercussions in the way that key services in society are designed to meet their needs and ambitions.
The reports authors say that the assumption that users of adult social care are a ‘burden’ on society leads to the assumption that a more restricted quality of life is appropriate.
Carolyn Ryves, a manager at The Grange Care Home, agrees. Mrs Ryves told Nursing in Practice that ‘Adult social care is still by many perceived as a prison like place where there is no personal freedom, and all decisions are made for you and care is done to you and not with you.
‘Raising the profile of Adult Social Care is necessary so people can make truly informed choices and can identify they think the right environment would look like to them.’
However, while Mrs Ryves says that the report is full of ‘laudable principles’ she says that it still ‘fails to address how to change the attitudes and beliefs of those drawing on services and those providing them.’
‘It doesn’t really address the relationships between social services the NHS and Adult Social Care which can at times be based on misconceptions of what each can offer. The challenge we face will remain the same for the foreseeable future which is recruiting a staff team with a genuine passion for care who see this as a profession and not a job and are not put off by what they read in the press.’