CARE providers today welcomed Labour Party proposals to create a National Care Service.
The plan, revealed by Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting, puts staff pay and training and stronger national standards at its core.
The care provider organisation, The Independent Care Group (ICG) has welcomed the plan, which echoes the setting up of the NHS back in 1945.
ICG Chair Mike Padgham said:
“A National Care Service is something we have campaigned for now for some 20 years or more as it would set social care provision on a par with NHS care and create cradle to the grave care in this country.
“I agree that any such service must place the status and recognition of the social care workforce at its heart. There must also be room for public, private and charitable provision through small and larger providers, to ensure choice.
“At the end of the day, this is an opposition party proposal and dependent upon the Labour Party gaining power for its fruition.
“But it is good to have the idea become part of the conversation around care, even if it is short on detailed proposals at this stage.
“We cannot continue as we are, with 1.5m people living without the care they need and care providers closing on a daily basis. Something has to change, root and branch reform must come and we welcome this proposal into the debate.”
Short term, the ICG wants to see social care’s share of the Health and Social Care Levy to be urgently fast-tracked to the frontline to help with staff recruitment, improving staff pay and social care delivery where it is needed.
It also wants to see:
• A root and branch overhaul of the way social care is planned and funded
• NHS care and social care merged and managed locally or nationally
• Extra funding for social care, funded by taxation
• Dementia treated and funded like other high priority illnesses
• A fixed percentage of GDP to be spent on social care
• Proper pay, conditions and career structure for carers
• Social care businesses to be zero-rated for VAT.