A new commission has been set up to develop an evidence-based vision and roadmap for housing in the future of care and support. It will review progress of the 2014 Commission on Residential Care’s recommendations, taking account of COVID-19, and will consider all forms of housing services that provide care and support including care homes (both residential and nursing) and housing with care (supported living, extra care, shared lives and home share).
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a huge toll on social care. By June 2020, there had been 30,500 excess deaths in care homes, and social care workers have been almost twice as likely to die from the virus as other adults. The impact on older people living alone and without support is yet to be seen.
COVID-19 has served to amplify pre-existing challenges in social care: a crisis in the funding system, unprecedented recruitment and retention problems, and rising demand as people are living longer but not necessarily healthier lives.
As SCIE argued in our recent report, Beyond COVID-19: new thinking on the future of social care, this has also been a period when good things have happened; not only in local communities where we have seen people’s willingness to help one another, but also within social care where the workforce has shown immense resilience, leadership, and creativity.
Later this year we expect to see a long-term plan for adult social care published, which presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to put social care on a sustainable and secure footing. We want to influence this work by positively raising the profile of social care and asking pertinent questions about the role of housing in the future of care and support.
The Commission will revisit the findings of the 2014 Commission to explore their relevance in view of COVID-19; examine progress with their implementation; and, based on the lived experience of people who use services, carers and providers, will make recommendations and proposals to enable much-needed change. The Commission will also work with the Centre for Health and the Public Interest (CHPI) to assess the financial impact of COVID on the provision of care and what this means for the future of the sector and for people who use services.
Guided by an appreciative approach, the Commission will:
- Explore the financial impact of COVID-19 on the care home market
- Co-produce with the sector and people with lived experience and their families/carers, a compelling, evidence-based, long-term vision for the role of housing in the future of care and support, including care homes, extra care, supported living and shared
- Recommend policy changes to inform the Government’s thinking on the long-term plan for social care
- Develop a roadmap to support the implementation of this new vision
- Consider how we can fund and test proposals for innovative models of care and support with sustainable financial schemes.
The Commission will report twice; first through an interim position paper at the end of the autumn with the aim of influencing Government thinking on the long-term plan, and again in spring 2021 when it will provide a more detailed plan of action for the social care sector to consider.
Paul Burstow, SCIE Chair
A test of any country is the degree to which it supports and enables those who need care and support to stay safe and to lead the best lives they can. Excellent housing with care – including care homes, supported living, extra care and the many other models – is at the heart of supporting people to live the best lives they can. I am excited to be asked to co-chair this important commission. I hope that the work we do can inform future policy and practice for years to come.
David Pearson CBE
We must not let this commission be another “talking shop”, we must focus on “action”. Lessons learnt during the pandemic suggest we all need to reflect on what we can do to better meet the needs of frail older people – same old, is not good enough.