Government has announced a process for consultation on social care. This is a step forward that VODG welcomes in principle. But with a predominant focus on addressing older people’s care and support needs VODG demands that disability provision is not sidelined.
VODG chief executive Rhidian Hughes said:
“We welcome Government’s step forward in devising a strategy for older people’s care, and VODG is committed to actively engaging in the process. However, we must ensure that the future care and support needs of both older and disabled people are addressed. A sustainable social care sector must work for everyone, regardless of age.”
Whilst today’s announcement is silent on disability provision VODG understands that a parallel process may be put in place to address ‘working age’ social care services.
VODG will be looking for cross-Government engagement with the sector to tackle a number of critical unresolved issues. VODG will be asking Government to focus on a number of topics, some of which include:
- Tackling inequalities in social care and the promotion of equality across the life course.
- Developing a clear policy direction that works for older and disabled people, including a fair funding settlement for care.
- Ensuring the social care sector is put on a sustainable footing, which includes workforce commissioning above the national living wage and an ability for social care employers to draw their workforce from the EU.
- Joining up commissioning so health, social care and other essential services including housing is integrated for the user, with explicit attention given on preventing the escalation of need.
Rhidian Hughes goes on to say:
“We must not forget the sleep in care crisis, largely affecting disability services, which requires resolution by Government. We need Government to fund the back pay liabilities and agree a way forward for these services in the future. The sector cannot afford any further distraction from the delivery of high quality provision.”
VODG’s has a pan-disability focus and, across its membership, includes services that provide support to children and young people, disabled adults as well as older people.
Collectively members of the group works with around a million disabled people providing services that promote independence, choice and control. VODG members have a combined workforce of over 85,000 staff and a turnover in excess of £2.8 billion.